Newsletter No. 250

CUHK Laboratory Named After Noel Croucher T he Croucher Laboratory fo r Human Genomics was established on 19t h November i n the Mong Ma n Wai Buildin g o n campus, bolstering the advanced study of genes at the University. Th e laborator y is one of seven Croucher laboratorie s se t up at various universities in Hong Kong, and named after Noe l Croucher i n recognition of the foundation's suppor t for science in the las t 25 years . Ove r th e years, the University receive d generou s dona t i ons o f ove r H K $ 8 0 m i l l i on f r o m th e Crouche r Foundation. T h e l a b o r a t o r y wa s founded on the achievements of the L a b o r a t o r y o f Huma n Genomics, a s the result of close collaborations amon g a number o f researchers . Sc i en t i s t s working i n the laborator y hav e r e c e n t ly mad e i mp o r t a n t discoveries o n the functional characteristics o f human gene s including thos e importan t t o liver cance r developmen t and the cardiovascula r systems . The opening ceremony for the Crouche r Laborator y fo r Human Genomic s wa s precede d by aposter sessio n an d followed by a workshop o n the theme 'Genomics : Pas t an d Future'. Th e chairma n o f the Boar d o f Trustees o f the Croucher Foundation , Prof . Y.W . Ka n ( r i g ht 2) , and othe r member s o f the boar d wer e present . Officiating a t the ceremon y wer e Prof . Lawrenc e J . Lau (left 2) , vice-chancello r o f the University , Prof. Fo k Tai-fa i ( r i ght 1), dean of the CUH K Facult y o f Medicine an d Prof . Mar y Way e (left 1), director o f the laboratory . GIS Laboratory Steps up Cooperation wit hUS Partne r T he Joint Laboratory fo r Geoinformation Scienc e (JLGIS) of The Chinese University an d the Chinese Academy o f Sciences signe d a letter of intent wit h the Earth Resources Observatio n System s Dat a Center o f the Unite d State s Geologica l Surve y (USGS ) on 13th November. Th e mov e i s expected to enhance cooperatio n betwee n thes e centre s o f excellence i n the area s of remote sensing , geographi c information systems , informatio n technology , an d data archive an d management . Prof. L i n Hui, directo r o f JLGIS, an d Mr . Ja y Feuquay , USGS programm e coordinato r f o r l a n d r emo t e s en s i ng , represented thei r respectiv e institutions t o sign the lette r of intent. Also i n attendance a t the ceremony wer e Prof . Lawrenc e J. Lau , vice-chancello r o f the University, Mr . Jacob Leung , u n i v e r s i ty secretary , Prof . Leung Yuen-sang , hea d o f Chung Ch i College , an d Prof . Leung Yee , dean o f socia l science. The USGS , establishe d in 1879, provide s th e US an d the world wit h th e scienc e neede d to mak e importan t decision s an d safeguar d society . Th e Eart h Resource s Observatio n System s Dat a Center is the world's larges t civilian archiv e centr e of aerial and satellite remot e sensin g data . The mission of the JLGIS i s to be a centre of excellence for conducting research, academic exchang e and training in geoinformation scienc e in the region . Prof. Lin Hui (right 2) toasting Prof. Lawrence J. Lau (left 2), vice-chancellor of the University, and Ms. Barbara Ryan (left 3), associate director for geography of USGS Expert in Science History and Chinese Culture on the Translation of mathematics P rof. Christopher Cullen, director of the Needham Research Institute of the UK, delivered a public lectur e at the University on 17t h Novembe r i n his capacity as Wilson T.S. Wang - Ne w Metho d Colleg e Visiting Professor in Language Education . The lecture , entitle d ' Bu i l d i n g Cross - cultural Bridges Through Translation: Th e Case o f Mathematics', too k plac e i n Li Koon Chu n Hall of the Sino Building . The great 20th century sinologis t and historian of science Joseph Needham sa w the science s a s common groun d on which the whol e of humanity coul d meet. Sinc e hi s time , les s optimistic intellectua l currents have questioned this view. I nhis lecture, Prof. Culle n use d a discussion of the problems of translating ancient mathematics fro m different culture s to suggest that even in such an apparently neutra l area as mathematics, it may be difficult to see the sciences as culture- free an d inter-commensurable . Ye t thi s doe s not entail pessimis m about intercultura l communication . O n th e contrary , i t challenges researchers t o construct a unity whic h w i l l b e a deliberate huma n creation rather than something predetermined . Bom in England, Prof. Cullen has published specialized research on topics ranging from ancien t Chines e astronomy to the history of medicine i n medieval China . He ha s also worked to spread a wider consciousness o f China's scientifi c an d technical heritag e throug h television and other mass media. He is also an honorary professor of the Institute for the History of Natural Science, the Chinese Academy of Sciences . E-NEWSLETTE R ABST AC T Volume 1 No. 11 Nobel Laureates i nEconomic Sciences Deliver Lectures and Meet Students Distinguished economist s Prof . Sir James A. Mirrlees (left ) and Prof . A. Michae l Spenc e (right ) delivered publi c lecture s to an audienc e of clos e to a thousand a t the invitatio n o f The Chines e Universit y and Su n Hun g Ka i Propertie s on 9t h Novembe r 2004 . CUHK Researchers W i n Young Scientist Awa rd Dr. Zhou Chenx i an d Dr . Chow Kin-kee , respectivel y researcher s from th e Epithelial Cel l Biolog y Centr e an d th e Department of Electronic Engineerin g of The Chinese University , were awarded the Young Scientist Award by the Hong Kong Institution of Science (HKIS) in recognitio n o f their outstandin g achievement s i n infertility an d advanced optica l fibr e communication s research . For details, please visit 1 No. 250 4th December 2004