Ten years of Sino-German Frontiers of Research Symposia

What do intestinal bacteria have to do with our behaviour? Or how important are precision measurements in astrophysics? Researchers discussed these and many other questions at the anniversary event.

This year's meeting marked the tenth anniversary of the Sino-German Frontiers of Science Symposia. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation organises these symposia together with the Chinese Academy of Sciences for outstanding young scientists from both countries. A memorandum of understanding signed by the Humboldtian and then President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Lu Yong-Xiang, and the then Secretary General of the Humboldt Foundation Georg Schütte in 2006 laid the foundation for this successful, long-standing collaboration. The first symposium was held in Peking in 2008. Since then the annual symposia have been held alternately in different cities in Germany and China.

The participants of the 10th Sino-German Frontiers of Science Symposium 2017 in Potsdam
The participants of the 10th Sino-German Frontiers of Science Symposium 2017 in Potsdam
Photo: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

From astrophysics to medicine

Over the years, the conference programmes have featured a total of 60 highly up-to-date, forward-looking research topics from the wide range of disciplines in the natural sciences ‒ starting with biology, chemistry and (astro)physics and extending to the geosciences and applied mathematics all the way to medicine and the neurosciences. Nearly 550 scientists discussed exciting, leading-edge research questions, engaged in constructive debate and found solutions.

Long-term networking

The symposia aim to cement long-term networking between the Chinese and German science landscapes: the CONNECT programme was specially developed for the Frontiers of Research portfolio to foster further contacts after the conferences. The Humboldt Foundation has already supported a number of Sino-German collaborations in this way.

Embassy stresses value of sharing scientific information

The First Secretary of the Education Department at the Chinese Embassy, Fang Qiang, attended the tenth anniversary event, acknowledging the importance of the Sino-German Frontiers of Science Symposia for scientific exchange between China and Germany. The First Secretary, together with the head of the Strategy and External Relations Department of the Humboldt Foundation, Ulrike Albrecht, opened the conference on Thursday evening with a formal welcome dinner. In addition to the scientific programme, the city of Potsdam offered the group an impressive setting for not only immersing themselves in the world of the natural sciences but also in historical and contemporary urban worlds. 

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