Friday, July 14, 2006

C.N. Yang in Malaysia

Prof. Yang Chen-ning, the iconic figure of Chinese physics is back in Malaysia again. Prof. Yang currently affiliated with Tsinghua University, China, was presenting a public lecture titled "Science & Tecnology in the 21st Century" at Le Meridien, Kuala Lumpur on 13th July, 2006.

The ever youthful Yang touched on the topic of development of scientific knowledge by the interaction of 3 aspects of science, namely basic, developmental & applied; citing examples of MRI, modern computer and biotechnology that was developed in the last century and changing the way man lives. He concluded that in the next 50 years to come, the development trend will still be the same with even more applied research being branched out from the basic researchs.

On the 14th of July, he delivered a scientific oration at University of Malaya with the title of "Symmetry". The event was moderated by local physicist Dr. Chia Swee Ping, former professor of theoretical physics in UM. Prof. C.N. Yang had been associated with University of Malaya some 30 years ago by being an external examiner at that time.

However, I DON'T particularly agreed with what Prof. C.N. Yang said during a public function that Malaysia should not dwell too much on high energy physics as that is still considered too advanced for this country, instead we should focus on applied technologies research such as palm oil production. I humbly think that no SCIENCE is too advanced for anybody, as long as you have the courage to explore it, as the good ol' Chinese saying goes "The journey of a thousand miles, start with a step."

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

STS-121 Discovery

Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off Kennedy Space Center on 2:38 EDT 4th of July, 2006 for its Mission STS-121. The return to flight of NASA's space programme heralding USA determination to regain its past glory of space dominance, in spite of the rising of China. The launch on the country 230th Independance Day bear not only scientific meaning but also power-motivated. Its success will continue to harness support for the diminishing space programme from the Administration. And this will in turn affect the livelihood of a lot of people. This can be seen by Griffin's reluctance to postpone the flight despite warning from its experts. Let's pray for the safe return of its crews. Man sacrify lives for pushing the frontier of science, as ever, but not as a mean for other man's power-politics.