On the afternoon of November 23, 2016, Prof. Zhang Xumu, Chair of the Department of Chemistry, Southern University of Science and Technology, gave a science lecture entitled “From Inspiration to Bookshelf, from Bookshelf to Goods Shelf”. Zhao Hongjun, Director of the Office of Admission, SUSTech; Tang Bin, Head of the Guangdong Admission Group and an associate professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, SUSTech; Principal Zhao Li and Vice Principal Wang Dongwen of Shenzhen High School (SZHS); Xu Qiang, Director of the Honor System, SZHS and Liu Binzhi, Director of the Service Center, SZHS, as well as Olympic competition coaches were present. Over 1,000 students of SZHS, students’ parents and teachers attended the lecture.
Prior to the lecture, Tang introduced SUSTech’s positioning, mission, system, orientation, strategy, as well as its latest progress in disciplinary development and talent introduction.
Zhang opened the topic of “bookshelf” with his brilliant experience: He graduated as a bachelor from Wuhan University (WUH), studied for a master’s degree under Academician Lu Jiaxi (then President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences) and for a PhD degree under James P. Collman (tutor of Nobel laureates Sharpless and Grubbs), did postdoctoral research at Stanford University, and established the Green Catalysis Research Institute at WHU). He mentioned that “bookshelf” is exactly the name reaction in the chemical field. He expressed his determination to establish the world’s best department of chemistry at SUSTech, and introduced the faculty, research conditions and findings, as well as graduates’ achievements. Then he enumerated the research findings of Nobel laureates in chemistry in recent decades, as well as the application of chemistry in chemicals, medicine, the formation and breaking of chemical bonds, synthetic chemistry and other fields, explaining why “Chemistry is the center of modern sciences”. He also mentioned the opportunities and challenges faced by chemistry, such as drug R&D and production, environment and resources (carbon dioxide recycling), agriculture (synthetic ammonia), materials (polyethylene), etc. Next he expounded the important significance of chiral science and technology, as well as the demand of the chiral pharmaceutical market, and elaborated on the concept of “goods shelf”. “Goods shelf” is integrating studies with the market to create economic value. At last, he integrated his “bookshelf” and “goods shelf” with national demand and academic frontier, pointed out the overall research direction of the Department of Chemistry, SUSTech–new medicine, new materials, new energy and chemical, encouraged the students present to apply to SUSTech to learn from world top experts and scholars, temper themselves on a broad platform and carry forward the spirit of “sword drawing”, thus realizing their life value.
The lecture lasted more than an hour and ended in a burst of applause. Many students stayed for further communication with Zhang.