Top scientific events show openness and “responsibility of Shanghai” amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Date: 2020-11-05
Source: Wen Hui
back to previous page

The 3rd World Laureates Forum came to a successful conclusion!

In these three days, nearly 140 laureates from all over the world attended the conference on time online or offline

In these three days, the brainstorming of “super brains” frequently made the headlines

In these three days, in the meeting room beside the Huangpu River, a galaxy of global scientists gathered, and the exchanges between them showed to the world confidence and power across time and space 

In the past few days, Shanghai in late autumn has a strong “scent of science.” In the past three days, nearly 140 laureates from all over the world attended the conference on time, online or offline, and gathered at the 3rd World Laureates Forum (WLF) via the internet. The “super brains” were not daunted by the barriers brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, but overcame the inconvenience of time difference, and conducted an unprecedented global conversation across time and space.

This is a world-class scientific event in a special year.


We are witnessing major changes in our world, something unseen in a century, and mankind is facing the severe challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The gathering of “top brains” via the internet has been placed on great hopes. People of insight caring about science or the audience coming to listen to the speeches out of admiration for the laureates were both greatly impressed by this forum, which gathered such a huge number of top brains, had a high-level scientific attitude, displayed cutting edge technologies, and showed the “potential” of the younger generation. 

More importantly, in the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the forum was held as scheduled and people’s passion remained undiminished. The message behind this to the world is the “responsibility of Shanghai” that promotes basic science, advocates international cooperation, and is committed to boosting the growth of young people, and this city of science and technology’s sincere concern for the common destiny of mankind.

“The world has never experienced such a large-scale disaster, nor has it seen such a large-scale international cooperation. Now China is the only country that has the ability to host such a great science event,” said Roger David Kornberg, Chairman of the World Laureates Association (WLA). while the balance between controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and restarting economy and society has posed a great challenge for most countries, the WLF was held on schedule, which is a great miracle thanks to the joint efforts of Chinese counterparts in science circles and all parties. 

1、In an event where big names gather, China nailed the “mission impossible”

This is an unprecedented platform for international scientific and technological exchanges. In the past 72 hours, the wisdom of the world’s top minds brought together in more than 70 activities spread from the banks of the Huangpu River to the world via the internet, and nourished the scientific spirit of Shanghai, the “city of science and technology in the East.”


Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of scientists participating in this year’s conference has not fallen but increased: nearly 140 laureates and more than 100 outstanding young scientists from four continents, 25 countries and regions, and more than 100 cities attended the forum. This demonstrates China’s remarkable achievements in the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, it is a huge challenge to bring together the “top brains,” many other participants and the young people. 

At the opening ceremony of the forum, Roger David Kornberg, who had undergone two nucleic acid tests within 48 hours and a strict quarantine for 14 days, said: “This is almost a mission impossible, but the Chinese organizers mailed it and did an excellent job.” He said that the forum has created an unprecedented platform for international scientific exchanges, which has an increasing influence on the public and promoted the formation of many positive interactions. “Shanghai’s determination and action to promote international scientific and technological exchanges and attract top talents from around the world is impressive.”

Zhong Nanshan, winner of Medal of the Republic and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering pointed out in the theme meeting video speech after the opening ceremony of the forum that such a platform is of great importance when the global COVID-19 pandemic has not been effectively controlled, and it can continuously and effectively gather the objective and rational voices of the scientific community. “This can show mankind a scientific way to deal with the pandemic, and help the world eliminate the COVID-19 virus as soon as possible.”

In the past three days, the spark of wisdom from the top brains has become viral on the Internet. Just yesterday, topics such as “Nobel Prize winner claiming to be a big fan of Chinese technology products,” “Zhang Wenhong Talking about the COVID-19 pandemic with a Nobel laureate” and other topics on Weibo Hot Search have gained over 10 million views, and “Zhong Nanshan talking about the purpose of scientists becoming idols” on the day of the opening ceremony received nearly 300 million views.

Openness and cooperation: penetrate the fog of uncertainty in the future with the light of reason

This is a grand event that involves the global scientific community. “Science and Technology for the Common Destiny of Mankind” is the eternal theme of the forum. The global challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic have aroused in the scientists at the top of the beacon of human civilization the strong sense of responsibility to defend and guard the destiny of mankind. They joined hands to penetrate the fog of uncertainty in the future with the light of reason. 

“Openness” and “cooperation” have become keywords in almost all the speeches at the World Laureates Forum. Roger David Kornberg said: “Science is international and it is the common ground for us.” Zhong Nanshan said: “Scientists have nationalities, but science knows no borders.” Vasant “Vas” Narasimhan, academician of National Academy of Medicine and chief executive officer of Novartis said, “In today’s world, cooperation is more important than ever.”


This forum shows China’s attitude towards global scientific and technological cooperation, allowing the global participating laureates to see the sincere attitude and practical actions of China, especially Shanghai, towards scientific and technological cooperation of mankind. In fact, the successful holding of the WLF showed to some extent that Shanghai has found a way for the world to join hands and innovate so that international cooperation will continue.

Randy Wayne Schekman, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, said that it is a great opportunity for world laureates if researchers from different disciplines can be brought together to meet the common challenges of all mankind. Steven Chu, vice chairman of the WLA and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997, said in a video interview with the reporter: “It is very important for the global science and technology community to maintain communication. Various countries need to work together instead of seeing each other as competitors. It is the unique and key role of the World Laureates Forum–it keeps the communication of the global scientific community smooth.”

Cutting edge leadership: Transform the advantage of the “first mile” into the development momentum of the “last mile.”

This is a high-end dialogue that spans generations and connects the present and the future. In the three days, words such as “latest,” “breakthrough” and “change” were mentioned from time to time, and the 42-hour “science marathon” was full of insights into the future. “Zero-resistance” room temperature superconducting materials, the latest treatment for Parkinson’s disease, and finding anti-tumor immune cells in one day...From laureates to young scientists, the venue shone with the light of guidance and cutting-edge leadership. It can be said that this scientific event is writing “A Brief History of Tomorrow” of mankind.

The future belongs to the youth. “The elderly should pass on the torch to the young.” “In any age, young people are making breakthroughs at the forefront of science”– Dozens of youth forums and doctoral forums were held, and young Chinese and foreign scientists delivered speeches, with senior scientists giving guidance in the cloud. The forum has built a valuable platform to pass on the scientific spirit to the next generation.

This forum paved an “avenue of stars” to introduce “top wisdom” into Shanghai’s technological innovation, making the public abuzz with anticipation. At the opening ceremony of the forum, the Shanghai World Laureates Development Foundation was unveiled, and the World Laureates Community opened via the internet. A “Future City” gathering super brains around the world will promote the intellectual wisdom and research results of Chinese and foreign scientists into a powerful driving force for economic and social development, and transform the advantage of the “first mile” into the development momentum of the “last mile.”

Roger David Kornberg said: “With the success of the forum for three consecutive years, establishing a permanent World Laureates Community in Shanghai becomes a matter of course. The global economic and innovation center is moving eastward and will further move eastward with the establishment of the World Laureates Community. I believe this community will become one of the world’s leading science centers and benefit mankind through scientific transformation.”