Conversation with the Prize Council and Pre-Screening Committee: Science makes a difference for millions of people around the world

Within the scope of the VinFuture Prize Sci-Tech Week, on the morning of January 18, eight outstanding scientists from the VinFuture Prize Council and Pre-screening Committee from around the world (UK, France, the United States,…) gathered at Almaz International Convention Center, Hanoi to meet with professors, leading experts, and science enthusiasts in Vietnam.

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The seminar welcomed the presence of Prof. Sir Richard Henry Friend – University of Cambridge, UK, Prof. Gérand Albert Mourou – 2018 Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics, Prof. Vu Ha Van – Yale University, Prof. Nguyen Thuc Quyen – University of Science and Technology. University of California, Santa Barbara, Dr. Padmanabhan Anandan – Founder of AI Matters Advisors LLC. Prof. Albert P. Pisano – Director of Jacobs Institute of Technology, University of California, USA, Dr. Bui Hai Hung – Founding Director of VinAI, Prof. Dang Van Chi – Scientific Director of Ludwig Cancer Research Institute, USA, along with other honored guests.

This event served as an in-person exchange between international leading scientists and Vietnamese policy makers, social activists, entrepreneurs, as well as leading local scientists,researchers, and talented students. Beyond academic knowledge, the exchange also enabled global scientists to share their personal and professional stories, their passion for science, their triumphs and failures, as well as their silent sacrifices as scientists.

Speaking about the mission to create positive changes in people’s life as well as her reason for joining the VinFuture Prize Council, Prof. Nguyen Thuc Quyen (Director of the Center for Polymers and Organic Solids, University of California, Santa Barbara) revealed: “The scientists of the Prize Council told us that they were convinced by the mission of VinFuture itself.” At the event, the professor shared about her journey from the poor countryside without electricity, to the US with a nearly blank English vocabulary, which inspired many event participants as well as viewers of the live broadcast. From a person washing laboratory instruments, with her ever-burning passion for science, the Vietnamese-born scientist has become a Professor at the University of California (Santa Barbara, USA) with her various internationally recognized research works. Now, she has proudly returned to Vietnam as a renowned scientist and a member of the Inaugural VinFuture Prize Council.

Professor Nguyen Thuc Quyen shared about her life story and passion for Science

Prof. Sir Richard Henry Friend (2010 Physics Millennium Laureate) shared that one of the reasons behind VinFuture Prize’s attractiveness is the quality of the submitted scientific projects. According to the Professor, the VinFuture nominated scientific discoveries and findings extend beyond the scope of other awards, covering and looking beyond many common themes and making the Prize truly outstanding.

Prof. Sir Richard Henry Friend discussed the intriguing prospect behind VinFuture Prize.

The Conversation event also acted as a place where scientists gave exclusive sneak-peaks about their next works and projects. Addressing the topic of opportunities for humanity in the future, Professor Gérand Albert Mourou (2018 Nobel Laureate in Physics) affirmed: “Energy is everything. Humans can’t do much without energy.” Prof. Mourou also talked about his research on thorium, a material that promises to replace Uranium in the generation of nuclear power, opening a new future of energy for mankind.

The program was broadcast on VTV4 on January 23, 2022. To watch the full event, click HERE.

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