On the 15th General Assembly of the Members of CAS

Special Issue

August, 2010

15th General Assembly of Members of CAS Work Report

Closing Address

Thematic Lectures Tan Kah Kee Science Awards 2010  

Work Report

Work Report by President Lu Yongxiang
on behalf of the Presidium of the Academic Divisions

Proposed goals and ideas of work for the Academic Divisions in the next five years
The 1st whole-Members meeting of the 15th General Assembly of the Members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences was held in Beijing on the afternoon of June 7th. Lu Yongxiang, President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Executive President of the Presidium of the Academic Divisions of CAS, delivered a work report entitled “Lead a Leapfrog Development of China’s Science and Technology and Create a New Future for the Work of the Academic Divisions”.

Lu Yongxiang stated the theme of the Assembly was to deepen our study and practice of the Scientific Development Outlook, and to thoroughly understand and implement the instructions given by the top Chinese leaders with the hopes to see more clearly the new trends of development in both domestic and international socio-economic progress and the new goals and new concepts of work of the Academic Divisions, thereby to uphold firmly the scientific banner, promote vigorously the role of the national scientific think-tank with Chinese characteristics, and mobilize the whole Members to make greater and more contributions to developing China into an innovation-oriented one in cooperation with the broad masses of the scientific and technological workers of the whole country under the guidance of Deng Xiao Ping Theory and the ideas of “Three Represents”.

Lu emphasized that we should carefully study and deeply understand President Hu Jintao’s speech made at the General Assembly of the two academies and apply his instructions to the scientific innovation practice and the work of the Academic Divisions. He pointed out that President Hu laid particular emphasis on the importance and urgency to accelerate the transformation of our mode of economic development, clearly stating that the key to build an innovative country, promote the acceleration of transformation of the mode of economic development and to seize the initiative for development lies in the reliance on science and technology progress and the substantial increase of China’s indigenous innovation capacity. The speech further outlined the priorities of work in the development of science and technology in China, pointing out that efforts should be made to improve and strengthen science and technology work from the perspectives of management, scientific talent and mechanisms, while placing sincere expectations on the Members of both academies and the broad masses of the scientific and technological workers of the whole country to shoulder more responsibilities and to make greater contributions and achievements to the progress of the Chinese society in various aspects.????

Altogether 559 Members and 11 Foreign Members attended the first meeting. The meeting first expressed condolences to the passing of 25 Members and 2 Foreign Members in the past two years.

Lu’s work report includes four sections, the reviews of the work in the past two years; the new situations faced by the work of the Academic Divisions; the objectives and concepts of work of the Academic Divisions and its priorities of work in the next two years.??
In reviewing the work of the Academic Divisions in the past two years, Lu pointed out since the 14th General Assembly, the Academic Divisions had adhered to the implementation of the “Development Blueprints of the Academic Divisions of the Chinese Academy of Sciences ”, and had made new progress in providing consultation support to the decision-makings, in the strategic study on the development of academic disciplines, in scientific dissemination and academic exchanges, and in the construction of scientific ethics and team building of the Members through emphasizing its role and function as the supreme national advisory body for science and technology. He summarized the major achievements of the Academic Divisions in six aspects: the continuous deepening of the strategic study related to China’s sustainable development; consultation and suggestions to issues of urgent and major national needs; strategic planning for the national scientific and technological development; consultation and advice to the fostering of new and strategic industries in China; a strict exercise of the regulation and rules in the election of new Members and initial success in the reform of “two journals” concerned. Lu stressed that the work of the Academic Divisions demonstrated that the Members and the Academic Divisions had not failed to live up to the expectations of the Party, the state and the people and had played an irreplaceably important role in socioeconomic development, and scientific and technological advancement in China.?

While analyzing the new situations confronted by the Academic Divisions, Lu pointed out that profound change had occurred in the political, economic and social environment both at home and abroad, posing both new opportunities and challenges for the work of the Academic Divisions. He presented in-depth analysis on different aspects of the situations, ranging from the profound changes and adjustments in the international economic and political structure to the focus of international competition which centers on seizing science and technology superiorities and developing strategic new industries; from the global science and technology on the verge of making major breakthroughs and revolutions to the historical opportunities enjoyed by China’s science and technology for leap-frog development and to the deep change in the social environment that the work of the Academic Divisions faces. He emphasized that the basic contradiction in China’s science and technology development today lay in the fact that the improvement of the scientific and technological innovation capacity in the country could not suit the rapid growing needs for its social and economic development and that in terms of the work of the Academic Divisions, it was a contradiction between the impact of its work on the society and what it had contributed and the high respects and expectations that the society and the general public place upon us. This situation demanded the Academic Divisions to strengthen its sense of historical mission and social responsibility and to function more effectively as the national scientific think-tank in providing scientifically sound proposals for the national decision-makings and for guiding socioeconomic development and scientific progress as well as the promotion and dissemination of scientific spirits, methods and knowledge.?
Lu Yongxiang stated the strategic goals of development for the Academic Divisions in the new era as follows: focusing on the needs of the socialist modernization development and bearing in mind? the responsibility of the Chinese science and technology community as the locomotive for China’s social economic progress, special efforts are to be made to ensure a good job in providing consultation and advice, the leadership role in academia and the role-models on scientific ethics, thus developing the Academic Divisions of CAS into a supreme science and technology advisory body in China that serves national decision-makings and provides scientific guidance to the general public; thus developing it into a supreme academic institution in science and technology in China with forward-looking scientific outlook and discreet academic ethics; thus developing it into a sacred scientific body that upholds high the scientific banner and promotes advanced culture; and thus developing it into a national scientific think-tank that enjoys major importance and influence both at home and abroad. To realize the strategic goals of development in the new era and to bring about a new pattern of work, he urged the Academic Divisions to work harder through further emancipation of minds, seeking truth, pragmatic work and pioneering and innovative efforts. As to the detailed explanations on what the Academic Divisions should be, it is explained as follows:?

--Build a supreme scientific and technological advisory body that serves macro national decision-makings. The Academic Divisions is the highest national scientific and technological advisory body in China and a major national scientific think-tank. It is the internal requirement of the Academic Divisions as dictated by its role and function to build itself into a supreme national scientific and technological advisory body that serves macro national decision-makings. This is also the sincere expectation of the Party, the nation and the general public on the Academic Divisions.??

We must strengthen our capacity in strategic planning, capacity in reacting to emergencies and capacity in providing scientific support. To improve strategic planning capacity means we need to organize studies and investigations into major issues concerning our future national development, bearing in mind the strategic demands and major issues concerning national socioeconomic and scientific development and reflecting the rules and trends of global science and technology development. To strengthen our capacity in reacting to emergencies means that we need to think ahead of the time the needs and want of the country and the people, establish effective rapid reaction mechanisms and provide timely scientific proposals to address abrupt and urgent major issues fully relying on the collective wisdom of the Members. To strengthen our research support capacity means that we need to enhance the collaboration with other departments and units in CAS and other research and educational entities in the country in the establishment of research platforms for the continuous supply of research, information and services to the macro national policy-makings and to gradually establish an advisory network system to the decision-makings that relies on the Members as the core but is based on a vast number of experts from various fields and disciplines.

We need to integrate serving the national decision-makings and providing scientific guidance to the public. We need to integrate satisfying the national developments and responding to global challenges. To support national decision-makings and to provide scientific guidance to the public are the two basic duties of the Academic Divisions in consultation and advisory works. These not only provide direct advisory services and scientific basis to the decision–makings, but also help build the public environment and ideological foundations needed for the implementation of relevant policies. To satisfy the needs of national development and to respond to global challenges are two major aspects of the advisory work of the Academic Divisions. In this regard, we need to pay special attention to study issues vital to national socioeconomic and scientific development, hot issues of wide public concern, major frontier challenges concerning the world scientific and technological development, and global issues critical to national interests and the progress of human civilizations.

We need to emphasize the production of new scientific thoughts, new scientific solutions and the development of advisory reports and proposals of the Members which are of huge impact and are capable of testing through practice. We need to systematically understand the laws and rules of evolution for natural systems, follow the laws and rules of scientific and socioeconomic development, and adhere to scientific methods, rational thinking, truth-seeking spirit, the emancipation of the minds, and continuous innovation. We need to stick to the principle of combining theory with practice, conduct in-depth investigation, widely listen to the opinions and suggestions from all walks of life, and try our best to make sure that our advisory proposals are scientific, specific, forward-looking and operational in practice, including the concepts of our solutions and methods and action plans. We need to aim our advisory works to the society and the general public, and to widely advocate and spread our key findings and innovative thinking, thus bringing into full play the scientific, human and social effects of our advisory works and the extension and spread of the scientific spirit, thinking and methodology. In the entire process of our advisory works, we need to be objective, scientific and discreet and need to accept the tests of practice, time and the public.

-- Build our country’s supreme academic body in science and technology. It is the basic responsibility for the Academic Divisions to carry out strategic research on disciplines development as the supreme academic body in science and technology in China. It is also an important demonstration of its leading role in the field. We need to carry out persistent and in-depth strategic studies on scientific disciplines development, and to greatly upgrade the quality and influence of the academic work of the Academic Divisions with a focus on the pioneering role that science and technology plays,

First, we need to enhance our pioneering academic ability in identifying new issues, in constructing new theories and in creating new fields in accordance to the world scientific and technological frontiers and the actual conditions in China, with the hope to satisfy the strategic needs of the country. Secondly, we need to systematically study the development trends and internal laws and rules of each discipline within the scientific knowledge system, paying attention to the newly emerging fields and cross-disciplinary fields, the cross-disciplinary interaction and integration between basic science research and high tech frontiers, the interaction between and among new theories, new methods and new methodologies. Thirdly, we need to pay attention to some of the essential factors affecting the development of disciplines, which include but are not limited to the formulation of policies and mechanisms innovations which encourage indigenous scientific innovations and systematic development of disciplines, the identification, introduction, cultivations and support of outstanding talent and teams, the development of the key fields and areas of critical importance to our country’s future competitiveness, sustainable development and continuous enhancement of indigenous innovation capability, the construction of major scientific and technological facilities and the construction of innovation culture and eco-environment. Fourth, we need to attach importance to practicality in the strategic studies on the development of academic disciplines and should actively engage in raising suggestions on the improvement of the work related to funding mechanisms, evaluation criteria and methods, management innovation and teaching of academic disciplines. To sum up, the strategic study of the Academic Divisions on the development of academic disciplines should be scientific, forward-looking and systematic, and needs to be verified by practice and time, and to be recognized by the scientific and technological communities both at home and abroad.

-- Construct a sacred body of science and technology. Science is a lofty cause in seeking truth, benefiting humanity and serving national interests. Over the years, the Members of the Academy have dedicated themselves to science and scientific research, devoting to truth-seeking and their motherland while ignoring fame and fortune. They have set up good role-models for the whole society in all aspects and have won the high appraisals from both the Party and the people as well as the wide respects from the whole society. We must inherit and develop the merits and scientific spirits and ethics of the scientists of the older generations, commit greater efforts to develop the Academic Divisions into a sacred body of science and technology which upholds high the scientific banner, promotes advanced culture, and leads the Chinese scientific community to make progress in scientific ethics, academic culture and academic contending and criticism, thus ensuring the harmonious, healthy and sustainable development of science and technology in China.
First, uphold high the scientific banner. We need to stick to the following principles and practice: promote the scientific spirit and adhere to scientific truth-seeking; adhere to the principle that practice is the sole criterion of truth and the principle that all men are created equal in front of truth; adhere to the emancipation of minds and seeking truth from facts; and promote truth-telling and telling truth only, and give no room and ground for empty talks. Secondly, build a harmonious academic eco-environment. We need to strengthen the modeling and guiding roles of the Members and continue to strengthen the scientific ethics, self-discipline and internal control of the community. We need to promote young academic talents and give emphasis on creating an open and candid academic eco-environment where academic freedom and contending is stimulated and academic credibility and integrity is valued. Thirdly, fulfill the social responsibilities of the scientists. We should honor the value of being Members and their social responsibilities at the same time and subject ourselves to the public supervision. We should develop a clear understanding of the impact of science and technology progress on the society and human civilization, and vigorously conduct scientific dissemination and research on scientific ethics, providing the public with scientific and rational guidance to develop scientific culture.?

For the priorities of work of the Academic Divisions in the next two years, Lu emphasized that efforts were to be made to actively engage in the consultation and advisory work of both the country and CAS on the 12th Five-year National Development Plan and that efforts were to be made to work out the relevant outline of the plan for the Academic Divisions for implementation. He further commented that efforts must be continued to carry out strategic research on the development of academic disciplines thus to guarantee a good job in academic leadership and that efforts need to be made to further enhance the development of the support systems to the Academic Divisions, promote its international exchanges and collaboration and ensure the completion of the 2011 election of new Members in a quality manner.

Lu Yongxiang stressed in the end that a landmark history had already been written for the development of the Academic Divisions, its future called for more glorious success and achievements. We should integrate the wisdom and strength of all the Members, bring into full play our role as the national scientific think-tank and the role as a “locomotive” for the development of science and technology in China, and thoroughly fulfill all the missions as outlined in the 11th Five-year plan with emancipated minds and pioneering efforts. We must strive to realize the objectives of the Academic Divisions in the new era and make greater contributions to build our country into an innovation-driven one, a harmonious socialist society and one with modernized science and technology.

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