（By Yang Cheng in Tianjin| China DailyUpdated:Aug 29, 2018）
Renowned scholar Jay Siegel said he expects China's efforts to encourage innovation and creativity among students will propel the country's science education to new heights.
46岁作为讲师才开始真正的科学研究；60岁获得国家自然科学基金重点项目资助，开始纤维素新溶剂及材料的研究；2011年荣获安塞姆·佩恩奖，这是国际纤维素与可再生资源材料领域的最高奖。虽现已年逾古稀，她依然坚守在科研第一线。近期，英国皇家化学会会刊 Chemistry World 对这位绿色化学的坚守者进行了专访。
Siegel, 59, has been at the forefront of extensive reforms at Tianjin University since joining its School of Pharmaceutical Science in 2011. He was the college's first foreign dean since the founding of the People's Republic of China.
He now heads its Health Science Platform, which was formed two years ago by merging the schools of pharmaceutical sciences and life sciences.
"The most rewarding reforms have included combining faculties from all over the world and starting dual language teaching," said Siegel, who in 2015 received the Friendship Award, the country's highest honor for foreign experts.
"Looking forward, I expect China could make headway in supporting students' creativity, freedom and innovation," he added.
Siegel, who hails from the United States, is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Before arriving in China, he had worked in science education for 30 years in the US, Europe, Japan and Southeast Asia.
Since joining Tianjin University, which was founded in 1895, he said he has been committed to fostering an exemplary academic research climate and setting competitive academic standards through the curriculum, research evaluation projects, and the high engagement of students under the leadership of a strong international team.
The school has nearly 40 foreign professors from 17 countries, accounting for half the faculty.
Siegel was able to attract 23 leading experts, including from Cambridge and Yale universities, to the pharmaceutical sciences school, while the university now has five Nobel laureates on its faculty.
自1973年回到母校后，张俐娜和丈夫杜予民共同研究开发甲壳素、纤维素在功能材料上的应用。张俐娜注意到，用 CS 2 /NaOH溶液溶解纤维素的传统方法对环境已造成严重污染。“在生产人造丝和玻璃纸的过程中，国内仍大量使用CS 2/NaOH溶液。因此我下定决心，一定要找到一种环保的新型溶剂来代替有毒的CS 2成分。”
He also invites 60 to 70 foreign experts each year to give lectures and share their insights with students.
According to Siegel, his reforms have helped address the long-standing problem in science education in China that "students serve the teachers; while in the West, teachers serve the students".
Over the past 40 years of reform and opening-up, China has transitioned from a "science resource producer" to a "global research leader", he said.
However, he added, "Young people are the driving force of scientific research, and we can't predict the future of science. Supporting freedom and creativity to allow students to develop their ideas is the way forward for China."
澳门微尼斯人娱乐，Lina Zhang et al, Progress in Polymer Science, 2016, 53, 169-206
Siegel said he expects emerging artificial intelligence technologies will improve medical diagnosis in the country, which in turn will improve the quality of life for many people.（编辑 焦德芳）
Lina Zhang reflects on five decades as part of China’s green chemistry vanguard
‘I believe a chemist should be one who discovers new patterns and creates new compounds,’ Lina Zhang states, setting out her viewpoint on science. ‘The thrill of the challenge and its fulfilment drives me to work night and day on my projects.’
It’s this work ethic that has taken Zhang to the pinnacle of China’s scientific community. Since graduating from Wuhan University in 1963, she has published 530 papers, authored 16 books, and been granted nearly 100 domestic and international patents. But Zhang has no intention of resting on her laurels – her energies are still fully directed at making a global impact in green chemistry.
‘I came to the deep realisation that our oil and coal resources will someday be depleted and that we must start to utilise renewable resources to replace them,’ Zhang explains. Initially working at the Railroad Academy of Science in Beijing focused on synthetic plastics and natural rubber, she returned to Wuhan to study natural polymers. This led her to take a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science scholarship at Osaka University for two years in 1984, where she studied polysaccharide solutions. ‘That taught me how to systematically perform research on macromolecular fundamentals, as well as realise just how much developed countries valued the research and development of renewable resources.’
Returning to Wuhan University, Zhang – along with husband Yumin Du – focused on expanding the use of chitin and cellulose as functional materials. Noting the environmental impact of treating cellulose with carbon disulfide and sodium hydroxide, Zhang set to work. ’The use of cellulose-CS 2/NaOH solution in the manufacturing of rayon fibres and transparent cellophanes in China is still widespread and increasing … I made up my mind to search for a new, environmentally friendly solvent to replace the toxic CS 2component.’
In 2000, sponsored by the Natural Science Foundation of China, Zhang’s team found an alternative. ‘Our team worked night and day,’ Zhang recalls. ‘Eventually we had a breakthrough and found a low-cost, less toxic NaOH/urea aqueous solution that could quickly dissolve cellulose at -12°C within two minutes. Out of that solution regenerated cellulose fibres are spun in pilot production and a series of new films, gels, microspheres, aerogels and plastic-like materials have been formed. These new products are safe, biocompatible, biodegradable and can truly be classified as eco-friendly.’ Recently, her has discovered cellulose and chitin materials that can dissolve at low temperatures, which could prove useful for biomedical science, energy storage and wastewater purification.
Zhang’s work saw her become the first Chinese scientist to win the American Chemical Society’s Anselme Payen award in 2011, leading to international recognition and expansion of her team, which now includes 50 doctoral graduate students and three postdoctoral fellows from China and France.
Still, Zhang is not finished, and has turned her attention to the ocean. ‘The oceans’ inhabitants comprise 80% of living species on Earth,’ she explains. ‘Marine life has higher bioactivity and more functions compared with organisms on land, but are less explored and investigated.’ Zhang’s aim is to create renewable resources that will never be exhausted, are environmentally friendly and can biodegrade at above 25°C in soil – avoiding the ‘white pollution’ caused by plastics.
Looking to the future
Yet while Zhang’s work is focused on the future, she is also delighted by the progress the scientific community has made during her career, both in China and globally. ‘Science education has begun emphasising more on cultivating an innovative consciousness and the hands-on abilities of students compared with when I was in school,’ she says. ‘I was only learning the background knowledge and following the tracks of previous scientific research. Nowadays, China’s science education and science research have made big jumps in progress.’
This next generation fills Zhang with hope that science can solve the problems of moving to renewable resources. ‘Young scientists have mastered the latest scientific techniques, have access to the best technical knowledge and are full of energy,’ she says. ‘They are a new force, with plenty of potential. But there are no shortcuts in scientific studies – only those who brave great ordeals and endure heavy toils can make major breakthroughs. My advice to young scientists is to love science and be prepared to sacrifice in order to make the next big innovative contribution.’