Science and Education
Chaired by: Prof Eddie Huo (Director, School of Communication and Information, NTU)
Despite a change in date from 7 to 8 Sep 2002 as a result of unforeseen circumstances, the public lecture attracted a crowd of 350 enthusiastic audience. Prof Lee Yuen Tseh, a Nobel Laureate and the President of Academia Sinica, delivered a lively and inspiring speech on how the development of science and technology has been affecting the quality of life of human beings in both positive and negative aspects. He also discussed in depth about the importance of education - the fundamental element for the development of human society.
When on the topic of the development of science and technology, Prof Lee expressed great concern over the use of natural resources. The scramble for limited resources on Earth is bound to result in competition among those strong developed nations. He felt strongly that Asian countries, including China, should seek to understand the ecological environment in each own's country and be a leader instead of a follower to take the path of developed countried in terms of energy application.
Apart from his in-depth analysis on how the strategy adopted by the United States of America (USA) on the use of energy has directly affected its environment and the international arena, Prof Lee also made a comparison of the education systems between the East and the West. He reaffirmed the fact that the American education system has the advantage over others in terms of nurturing scientists. The willingness of empowering the young generation and the diverse variety of American funds for scientific research are highlighted by Prof Lee as the two most critical success factors in their development of human talent. On the contrary, the education systems adopted by the East are less effective in bringing out the potential and develop creativity among its young generation.
Prof Lee shared with the audience his concern over the future development of human society. His humorous and inspiring speech triggered rounds of applause from the audience.