Fraser Stoddart lectures to over 400 high school students.Photos by Wang Xiaoming, Jin Wan Bao
Fraser Stoddart takes questions from students.
Fraser Stoddart makes a signature.
“I’m 75 years old now, and I have worked hard for at least 60 years in order to be outstanding enough to be here. The road of scientific research is by no means an easy one, for you have to find the field you are most interested in and persevere...” said Prof. Fraser Stoddart, the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for chemistry, at a lecture themed “Hard work at youth will lead to a rewarding future” at Tianjin University attended by more than 400 high school students from Beijing, Tianjin, the neighboring Hebei province and other three provinces.
The students had flocked into the lecture hall with admiration long before the lecture started. “Though I’m busy preparing for the College Entrance Examinations, I still come all the way to see my idol in the flesh and listen to his inspiring words,” said Fan Ruochen, an excited 12th grader who had come from China’s central Henan province to Tianjin a few days earlier.
The audience all rose and applauded the moment the “Nobel-winning grandpa” entered the lecture hall in a red Chinese-style silk jacket. Prof. Stoddart talked humorously about how he began his career as a researcher and how he made his way to success. “Innovation cannot be born within a short period of time; rather, it is a result of one’s lifetime pursuit.” “The secret to success lies in whether you can put up with failures. You are bound to come across various obstacles as you go ahead, and what counts most is that you keep your passion and persevere. And then the knowledge you have acquired will enable you to be better equipped for the exploration of the unknown.” “My wife’s passing away with disease in 2004 was the nadir of my life, but it was also at that time that I made important breakthroughs in my career.” During the lecture which lasted for one hour, the audience applauded several times.
“It is Prof. Stoddart who first proposed to meet the students,” said Prof. Zhang Ling, Deputy Dean of the School of Medicine at Tianjin University, “and he insisted that he should be here in spite of his tight schedule in Tianjin. He said ‘I hope to share some stories with the kids about scientific research and encourage them to find their own interests, and I hope they will bravely make new things happen and make their dreams come true’.”
“His lecture filled me with passion and I hope I can also contribute to the human kind, just like him,” said a Tianjin student Wang Yunpeng after the lecture.
By Jiang Shan, Jin Wan Bao