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U.K. vice chancellor urges global cooperation in long-term scientific research

By Jiang Hong | 2014-11-20 | Hits:
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)

Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, vice chancellor of the University of Kent, attended an academic salon at the U.K. Embassy in Beijing on October 25. She delivered a speech themed “Excellence and Influence” in which she discussed the need for scientific and technical advancements to better serve society.

Goodfellow noted science doesn’t only entail medicine, physics and engineering, but also social sciences and business. She said all disciplines should engage in addressing major challenges facing people, including food and water safety, health, population aging and energy issues.

Goodfellow said that in evaluating scientific research, it is necessary to not only pay attention to researchers themselves, but also to their cooperation and competition. For example, researchers in the U.K. need to compete for scientific research funds yet still cooperate with each other.

Cooperation, especially internationally, should always be at the foundation of long-term scientific research, said Goodfellow.

“Apart from possessing strong research in basic sciences, we also need to strive for utilizing scientific achievements,” said Goodfellow, adding that scientific and research efforts should be made by companies.

Goodfellow said the U.K. government had recently made new efforts to promote development of science and technology to cultivate scientists and engineers, and establish technical innovation centers. Many U.K. universities have set up such centers, providing ample support to small- and medium-sized enterprises, said Goodfellow. She added that the U.K. government encourages entrepreneurs, many of whom possess strong research backgrounds, through its policies.

Goodfellow stressed that deeper interdisciplinary cooperation is needed for scientific achievements. It has become an important tendency to   use scientific technology on the basis of integrating humanities and social sciences studies, she said. Meanwhile, she stressed it is necessary for scientific research to improve the welfare of individuals and society.

Assessing the current situation of the U.K. higher education system, Goodfellow said that although the U.K. has a lot of top research institutions, much research is still conducted by universities. People have gradually realized the importance of cultivating future scientific leaders through the establishment of centers specializing in scientific doctorates, she said. Possessing an international perspective helps U.K. universities drive economic development, she said.

After her speech, Goodfellow also engaged in discussions with the audience. Nearly 30 representatives from the University of Kent, the U.K. Embassy, and the Chinese education sector and industry bodies attended the forum.

The Chinese version appeared in Chinese Social Sciences Today, No. 660, October 24, 2014.
The Chinese link: http://sscp.cssn.cn/xkpd/xszx/gn/201410/t20141024_1374469.html

Translated by Chen Meina
Revised by Tom Fearon