Prof. Shi Anbin discusses the first Chinese female Nobel laureate on CCTV

The recognition of a Chinese scientist with a Nobel prize is the inevitable result of years of effort by the Chinese scientific world, Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication Associate Dean Shi Anbin said on CCTV News on Oct. 8.

Appearing on CCTV’s Dialogue program, Professor Shi said Tu Youyou’s recognition as China’s first female Nobel laureate reflected the nation’s investment in science and education. Shi, a communication professor, cited the spirit of perseverance in Tu Youyou’s medical achievement and added that the external communication to make Chinese scientists known and recognized in the West is a plus.

A cultural difference in the “Western-centric” prize is that the Nobel is awarded to individual genius not the team, Shi said. The Tsinghua professor said this mentality is different than the Chinese collectivist culture where the teamwork is far more appreciated.

He pointed out that Tu has not received any education abroad, reflecting the strength of the Chinese education system. The traditional heritage from ancient China should not be forgotten as the nation becomes more globalized, Shi said, but Chinese academics should be encouraged to rethink the best ways to integrate the essence of Western education with China’s. 

Tu’s scientific achievement demonstrates the incorporation of Chinese traditional medicine into the “world heritage,” Professor Shi said. He added that it will inspire the young generation to regain the aspirations his generation had for scientists: respect for scientists and the dream to become a scientist.