International physicists forge closer links

Dec 19, 2011   //   by admin   //   Press  //  Comments Off on International physicists forge closer links

(VNS) – International scientists from 19 countries said that they were enthusiastic to share knowledge and establish closer links through a five-day conference on gravitation, astrophysics and cosmology, which opened in the central city of Quy Nhon yesterday.

The 200-participant event was part of a series of meetings held biennially in Asia-Pacific with the aim to boost international co-operation, promote high-level studies and encourage the work of young physicists.

“Our group is contributing to two experiments with Japan and Argentina and it’s nice that we are here to introduce them to our colleagues,” said Maria Rodriguez Frias from Spain’s Space & Astroparticle Group. “It’s certainly to our profit.”

“Practical results? Do you know about GPS (global positioning system)?” Roland Triay from France’s Aix Marseille University asked when queried as to what the gatherings have brought about thus far.

“Attending the meeting is important for us to share knowledge and boost ties,” said Phan Van Dong, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Astronomy Association, who was eager to seek and register to participate in the event through the internet a few months ago when still in Australia.

“A young scientist I know found her desired professor through some events like this,” he added.

Yesterday morning, the scientists gathered in the city’s Ghenh Rang Ward to witness the ground- breaking ceremony of a 20-ha International Centre for Interdisciplinary Science and Education.

The US$2-million facility was approved by the Government and will be developed by Les Rencontres du Vietnam, an association aimed to assist education and scientific research in the country. It is expected to open its doors for international activities in 2013.

“This project will not only be instrumental in establishing international collaboration and contributing to interdisciplinary research and education in Viet Nam, it will also enhance the country’s position as a full time partner in the international science community,” Jerome Friedman from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology wrote in a letter.

Martin Pearl, from the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, also via a letter, said that the project would help nations of the Eastern Pacific Rim interchange scientific research and develop new ideas.

Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan said that the move would play an important role in training young potential scientists of the country, adding that the ministry would co-operate closely with the centre for effective activities in the future.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently adopted a direction for the development of the science and technology sector over the next five years, which defines integration into the world community as a prime task to narrow the gap between the country’s level and the world’s in this area.

Roland said that good signs for Viet Nam was that it had enthusiastic scientists and improving policies enabling interchanges of professors and students between domestic and foreign universities.

He suggested more financial support should be given to the science community.

“People are involved in science because they love it, spending hours and hours on it every day,” Roland said. “They need support to feed their families, to travel, and to attend meetings in international frameworks.”

(Source: VNS)

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