Nobel laureate comes to visit


James Fraser Stoddart, the Nobel Prize winner in chemistry for 2016, paid a visit to ECNU on March 2 and was welcomed by the host with open arms.

During a meeting with the Scottish-born American chemist in the Yifu Building at the Zhongbei campus, vice ECNU president Wang Rongming briefed the guest about the university’s history and preponderant disciplines. Prof. Wu Peng, vice director of Shanghai Key Lab of Green Chemistry and Chemical Processes, and his co-worker Prof. Yang Haibo, and Zhou Yunxuan, director of the International Exchange Division, also attended the meeting.

Wang told the visitor that ECNU has been attaching great importance to the internationalization of discipline development and welcoming more exceptional scientists to come to ECNU to visit and work. He hoped these scientists would exert an enormous function in boosting the university’s discipline construction and talent training, as well as enhancing the international reputation of its superior disciplines.

Stoddart encapsulated his research field and said he was looking forward to further cooperation with ECNU.

After the meeting, the top notch delivered a lecture titled “The Rise and Promise of the Mechanical Bonding Chemistry and Beyond” in the Yifu Building auditorium thronged with audiences.

In his speech, Stoddart retrospected his academic career, stressing that his success was not accomplished at one stroke and attributing his glory to the unremitting efforts made by more than 400 students in 50-strong years.

Introduced into China through the Thousand Talent Program, the Central Government’s initiative to woo experts from overseas, the Nobel laureate said he has witnessed the rapid development of molecular machines in China during his stay in the country and proclaimed the remarkable contribution by Chinese scientists to the field and nano technology.

The lecturer answered questions from the audiences before calling it an end.

In the afternoon, Stoddart visited the Shanghai Key Lab of Green Chemistry and Chemical Processes, exchanged views with professors, and put forward advices and suggestions about the development of the lab.

Stoddart works in the area of supramolecular chemistry and nanotechnology. On October 5, 2016, he was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, sharing the award with Jean-Pierre Sauvage of the University of Strasbourg in France and Bernard Feringa of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands for the design and synthesis of molecular machines - the world’s smallest machines. The Nobel committee lauded them for taking “molecular systems out of equilibrium’s stalemate and into energy-filled states in which their movements can be controlled.”

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the AmericanAcademy of Arts and Sciences. His efforts have been recognized by more than 100 awards, including the Carbohydrate Chemistry Award by the American Chemical Society in 1978, International Izatt-Christensen Award in 1994, Cope Scholar Award by the American Chemical Society in 1999, Albert Einstein World Award of Science in 2007. He was appointed a Knight Bachelor in 2006 by Queen Elizabeth II.

A world leader in molecular machines and nano technology, he has had more than 1,000 dissertations and articles published by influential journals such as Nature, Science, Nature Chem and PNAS.

He has an h-index of more than 100, an index that attempts to measure both the productivity and citation impact of the published body of work of a scientist or scholar. He was ranked by the Institute for Scientific Information as the third most cited chemist. During 40 years, he has given over 1,000 academic lectures around the globe and more than 400 Ph.D students and postdoctoral researchers have been trained in his laboratories, and 80 of them are now working in world-famous universities.




East China Normal University