Prof. Lu Yongxiang, vice chairman of National People's Congress and president of CAS, received Prof. Yao Tandong, director of ITP, on March 17th during CAS 2004 work sessions, and gave important directions to the development of ITP in new situations. The following are the main contents of president Lu’s talk.
President Lu said that the scientific development conception of “5 overall plans” brought forward by the Party Central Committee provids ITP with a better opportunity for its development. The harmonious development of human and nature is crucial in areas like the Tibetan Plateau, where altitude is high and the ecosystem is flimsy. Besides, the ecosystem of the plateau has significant impact on climate of Asia and of the whole globe. Only on the basis of advanced research on the Tibetan Plateau can we hope to realize the harmonious cohabitation and development of human and nature, and gain profound cognizance of the impact of the plateau on climate of China, of Asia, and even of the whole globe. This is the historical mission of ITP.
As one of research institute established in several overlapping fields as part of CAS’s development strategy in the new phase, ITP should stick to the principles of innovation and sustainable development, and set its foot on the international scientific foreland of Tibetan Plateau research. China has its unique Loess Plateau, and its unique Tibetan Plateau. On the Loess Plateau scientists of the older generation represented by Academician Liu Dongsheng have made achievement leading in world. Tibetan Plateau research will follow the example of the veteran scientists, fully cognize the significance of innovation, discover new phenomena, propose new issues, and make great achievements.
President Lu specially emphasized on international cooperation in Tibetan Plateau research. He said that research of high level is closely related to internationalization, and we should promote the research ability and level of ITP through exchanges and cooperation with international top scientific institutes and scientists on the basis of monitoring and research platforms and other grand programs. DFG showed great enthusiasm in ITP construction, and granted investment both in personnel and in funds. They also recommended scientists for ITP academic advising committee. With support of DFG, over 10 German scientists were attending the 4th International Symposium on the Tibetan Plateau hold in Lhasa in August, 2004. They are also supportive to our suggestion of holding a “Sino-German Tibetan Plateau Workshop” during the symposium, and proposed to hold the workshop in places other than the symposium sites in some other time. The Sino-German Tibetan Plateau research will aim at the goal of “2+2”, i.e., to achieve research of high level promoted by international cooperative programs through research forces of institutes allies by MPG and universities allied by DFG plus institutes under CAS and universities as well as other sections allied by NSFC. ITP must organize grand international cooperative programs with ourselves as the main body, and the FMRP in preparation could be a component of it. We should also pay attention to coordinative development of the three directions in Tibetan Plateau research, solid geodynamics, eco-environment, the impact of the plateau on its surrounding areas and on the whole globe, alpine biodiversity and its evolution.
President Lu also attached importance to the human resources of ITP. He said ITP should make great endeavor in constructing its research team. It should select outstanding scientists into its innovative research team on the basis determining its prior fields and encouraging interdisciplinary studies. Besides stable personnel in ITP, it can also access domestic and overseas human resources in various forms. In consideration of financial issues, overseas scientists can be invited through 4 positions in “100 Scientists Project” (three months per person per year). In a word, employment of outstanding personnel should not be confined by forms.
President Lu enquired in detail progresses in graduate education, newsletters issue, and website construction, etc. He pointed out that as an institute aiming at internationalization, it should include personnel with advanced level of foreign languages to meet the demands of international cooperation. President Lu also enquired about campus construction of ITP. He said that the area for Lhasa campus should be properly limited as it was set as a research platform for field experiments and monitoring, and base for international cooperation. The site for Beijing campus should be fixed and campus construction should start as soon as possible. And there is no need of a Guest House as Beijing offers very nice social service system.