Prof. CHEN Jianping, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, fellow of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and expert in plant pathology, delivered a speech on why people study. The event was officiated at by Academician YANG Deren, President of NingboTech University.
Prof. CHEN started his lecture with three thought-provoking questions: For what purposes do you study? What are you looking at with your eyes? What are you thinking about deep in your mind? Those are the three questions one should keep asking him or herself every day in class or before going to bed.
He then cited LI Siguang, a renowned Chinese geologist, as an example to illustrate that heroes throughout the human society tend to study for their motherland and fellow countrymen. LI chose to study advanced ship making technologies after China’s defeat in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895. He then threw himself into studies of geology and mining in the UK when there was a shortage of mining professionals in China. Using vivid words, Prof. CHEN encouraged the attendees to study based on their personal interest and preference while also accommodating the needs of the national development.
Prof. CHEN then shared his personal experience as guidance for students to find the motivation for learning. Hoping to be a carpenter when young, he eventually embarked on his academic journey after being inspired by his fellow villagers who went to college. Yet the road was by no means smooth. He failed to get admitted to his dream university because of poor math grades, and then changed his choice as suggested by his mentor. Deeply touched by his encounter with left-behind children when volunteering his services in China's poverty alleviation undertaking, he shifted his research focus from plant pathology to agricultural sciences. He has always held dear the opportunity to study and kept in mind that it is important to apply what is learned to practice. Hoping to help farmers with his knowledge, CHEN now takes up macro agriculture. He has put forward the rural revitalization strategy and helped set up the Institute of Plant Virology and the State Key Laboratory for Managing Biotic and Chemical Threats to the Quality and Safety of Agro-Products.
Prof. CHEN mentioned the importance of study. Study serves as an inexhaustible source of knowledge, helps with decision-making and leads people to excellence. He also encouraged students to be a person of responsibility and with a sense of mission during the subsequent Q&A session.
Academician CHEN Jianping, having long been engaged in basic and applied research of plant viruses, has undertaken research projects including the National High-Tech R&D Program, and made remarkable achievements in identification of virus types and molecular mechanism of disease resistance of plants. He has also been involved in research of the macro agricultural development strategy in the past decade, becoming a leading figure in the research and practice of the rural revitalization strategy.