Shanghai shines at science awards

Li Qian
Local scientists and researchers are honored for their achievements in various fields at the country's top science and technology awards.
Li Qian

Shanghai shone at the country’s top science and technology awards ceremony on Friday, with city scientists scooping up 52 awards.

The 2019 State Science and Technology Award honored 308 distinguished scientists and research achievements.

Atmospheric scientist Zeng Qingcun and mechanical engineer Huang Xuhua received the Preeminent Awards, the highest honor. They are granted to no more than two winners per year.

Zeng won the International Meteorological Organization Prize, the world's top prize for meteorological work. Huang was one of the chief designers for the country's first generation of nuclear submarines.

It was the fourth consecutive year that more than 15 percent of the awards had gone to Shanghai. 

“It showcases that Shanghai retains its strong competitiveness in the awards, and Shanghai’s capability of blazing new trails is continuously increasing. Shanghai is open, innovative and vigorous,” the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission said.

Shanghai received eight awards in natural sciences, which honors major breakthroughs in fundamental research in fields that include math, physics and astronomy.

Tang Shanjian, a professor at Fudan University, was the first person from Shanghai in the past 10 years to receive the award for math in the past 10 years. His work on Poisson's Wquation, the Riccati Wquation initiated by French mathematician Jean-Michel Bismut and American control theorist Roger Brockett’s nonlinear filtering theory led to progress in the theory and application of stochastic control.

Stochastic control has been the basic math tool to address problems in economy, finance and national defense since the 1960s. Tang has devoted more than 30 years to the study, and his research results have been globally recognized.

“China is paying increasing attention to the fundamental research. As Chinese researchers, we have the responsibility to promote our research results to the world, make China shine on the world stage and contribute to the progress of civilization,” Tang said.

The honors also included seven awards in technological invention and 35 in science and technological progress, which honors technologies with considerable economic benefits.

Shanghai scientists also picked up two of the 10 international science and technology cooperation awards.

Austrian professor Herbert Mang initiated and promoted cooperation between the Vienna University of Technology and Tongji University. He is a foreign academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

American chemist and structural biologist Raymond Stevens founded the iHuman Institute at ShanghaiTech University. He had received the city’s Magnolia Silver Award in 2017 and the gold award in 2019 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the city’s development.

Eleven of the 52 awards were in categories that included basic medicine, internal medicine, preventive medicine and traditional Chinese medicine.

Dr Zhang Chenping’s team from Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital developed an innovative jaw reconstruction treatment for patients with jaw deformities. His combination of microsurgery and dental implants reduces treatment from three years to just six months.

Zhou Caicun, a Tongji University professor, worked with hospitals and companies to develop two cancer markers which raised the early-stage lung cancer detection rate from 69 percent to 95 percent. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in China.

Dr Zhou Pinghong’s team from Zhongshan Hospital replaced traditional surgery with a minimally-invasive endoscopic technique to treat patients with esophagus disease, a safer treatment that set new global standards.

Zhou’s oldest patient was 98 years old and the youngest just 11 months. He has removed tumors as long as 20 centimeters and as heavy as 124 grams.

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