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Shortsighted to say basic research useless: Nobel Prize winner

By Chen Lidan (People's Daily Online)

08:29, September 19, 2012

Samuel Chao Chung Ting, physicist and Nobel Prize winner of 1976, gives a special lecture for TWAS meeting held in Tianjin, China, on Sept.18, 2012. (Photo/People's Daily Online)

The view that resources should be concentrated on technology transfer and applied research and basic scientific research is useless is very shortsighted, said Nobel Prize laureate Samuel Chao Chung Ting in China on Tuesday.

In an lecture themed Science for Development held in Tianjin, Professor Ting offered his view to refute the argument that fundamental science is far from daily life and useless for a country’s competitiveness building and economic development.

As talking the danger of ignorance on basic research and education, Ting said “The pragmatic approach to economic development cannot be sustained without investment in basic research and education.”

“If a country restricts itself to technology transfer clearly after sometime, there will be nothing left to transfer if no new insights and phenomenon are discovered by basic research,” said Ting, “Basic scientific research is the foundation from which knowledge and technological development is advanced.”

Professor Ting was one of three masters in science and technology invited to delivery special lecture sharing their thought and research results as an important section of general meeting of TWAS, known as the Third World Academy of Sciences until 2004 and now the most important scientific organization in the developing world.

Besides invited lectures, scientists from various research fields will present high-level academic report during the four-day meeting of TWAS under the subject of science and sustainability.

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