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Chinese mainland’s own 'Nobel' announces winners

By Jiang Jie (People's Daily Online)    17:10, September 19, 2016

(Left: Professor Xue Qikun; Right: Professor Dennis Lo Yuk-Ming)

Two Chinese scientists have been chosen as laureates for Chinese mainland’s first Future Science Prize, modeled after the Nobel. Each scientist will be awarded $1 million.

Yuk-Ming Dennis Lo, from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), was awarded a Life Science Prize for his contribution to a widely used, noninvasive prenatal test based on the discovery of fetal DNA in maternal blood.

The Physical Science Prize will go to Xue Qikun, from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. Xue has made groundbreaking discoveries about novel quantum phenomena by using molecule beam epitaxy (MBE). He is being recognized for his work on the quantum anomalous Hall effect and monolayer FeSe superconductivity.

According to the official website of the Future Science Prize, each prize is funded by four entrepreneur donors. Candidates are nominated by leading Chinese scientists at home and abroad, and undergo review by a committee to ensure fairness.

“I hope the prize can encourage the Greater China region to realize the best scientific achievements, and I hope it will become more globally recognized, especially by Nobel Prize laureates. Frankly speaking, I am expecting our prize to maybe lead the Nobel Prize as well,” said Ding Hong, a chief scientist at the Institute of Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who is also a member of the selection committee.

In an exclusive interview with The Intellectual, an official WeChat account about science and intellectuals in scientific fields, Ding said he hoped the prize would attract more foreign scientists to work in China, and that it would inspire young people to study and work in the sciences.

“Science is cool. It’s not boring. I hope [the prize] can make science more fashionable and keep influencing our young people on the cultural level,” Ding noted.

Established in 2016, the Future Science Prize was jointly established by scientists and entrepreneurs in Chinese mainland. It aims to recognize scientific breakthroughs and innovations, primarily in the Greater China region, though independent of citizenship. It will also be an effective supplement to government efforts in this regard, according to the prize’s official website.. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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