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The Passion for Innovation Originates in Love
Author:Lina Zhang  Date:2014-09-12  Clicks:

This article is based on the report delivered by Academician Zhang Lina at the opening ceremony of the 7th Academic Science Festival of Wuhan University.

I think that learning to behave is beyond pursuing your scholarship, so I sincerely suggest you to be honest and down-to-earth. Only your honesty can earn other people’s trust and help, while doing research needs your down-to-earth attitude to be able to complete the task and achieve results.

Meanwhile, we should hold love in our hearts because love gives us the passion and strength we need to push forward. I still remember when I went for further education in Japan at the early stage of the reforms and the opening-up policy. I found Japan much more developed than our country in terms of science, architecture and transportation. The Japanese people led a much better life. At that time, I was determined to make a contribution to the prosperity of my own country as much as I could. With love for our nation in my heart, I strived for success and I eventually achieved great scientific accomplishments and praises, but they all came after tremendous efforts and hard work.

Once you let love grow in your heart, your passion for study will strengthen and you will acquire a sense of mission and responsibility. It explains why I engaged in the study of Cellulose.

Soon after returning from Japan, I was told by a senior leader of Asahi Kasei Corporation that their highly-polluted factories had been closed and much of the equipment had been sold to China. After hearing that, I felt bad and then made up my mind to come up with an environmental-friendly solution to this problem. Luckily, I made it, upon receiving national fund.

Therefore, I conclude that achieving our goals and pursuing innovation should come from our patriotic spirit.

Engaging in a scholarship program means you should be inclined to learn and ask. Learning is a diligent process of unraveling the invaluable treasure of knowledge, while asking is meant to ensure you can express yourself and communicate with others. During your interaction with others, you should observe and focus on the advantages and benefits they can bring to you, advantages and benefits resulting from their excellent qualities, good thinking and advanced methods. Meanwhile, you should learn to better express yourself and share your ideas with others.

Moreover, you must be ready to help others. This is a very important aspect of your study. I knew some influential scientists who used to engage in characterization and testing work. They provided selfless help for many people’s research, and quite naturally, they were also rewarded a lot later. For example, they received considerable funds and awards together with their collaborators and their well-meaning help benefited each other at last. In addition, helping others can get the support and strength of your friends. Today’s accomplishments in my case, is partially owed to the support and encouragement of many friends and colleagues.

Teamwork is also important to our study. A person's power is limited, but the strength and help of a team is a guarantee for success. Do not keep to your own work with excessive secrecy. If you are the true originator of ideas, you will eventually be recognized by all the people, and the community will not forget everyone's contribution. Therefore, we should pay a great deal of attention to the spirit of teamwork and mutual help in order to reach good achievements.

Next, I will briefly talk about the scientific ethic and the style of study. It is essential to abide by scientific ethics and cultivate a correct style of study, because it contributes to a proper training of high-level talents, promoting the sound development of science and technology as well as building an innovative country. When we are engaging in research work, we should pay attention to the scientific norms and academic integrity, by which our academic achievement will be recognized. It is also important to establish a good style of study. We should assiduously do research with the spirit of teamwork and perseverance.

Finally, I want to stress the importance of “sowing endless love”. I would like to tell you one of my stories. After graduating from the junior high school, I wanted to be a teacher, so I planned to apply for a normal school. When completing the application, my teacher stopped me, telling me I was admitted to a senior high school. It turned out it was my teacher who had given me the opportunity, for she thought I was good at my study and hoped I could become a scientist in the future, someone able to contribute to the scientific development of our nation. In taking this risk, she had given an evidence of her trust and love. Therefore, when I instruct my students, I am very strict and demanding, yet I am so, because I also hope rigor ensures they are the best of the best and they too can make a significant contribution to our country.

(Translated by Chunhua Mei, edited by Diana & Sijia Hu)


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