Int’l forum held to mark 110th birth anniversary of Chinese American physicist Chien-Shiung Wu-Xinhua

Undated file photo shows Chien-Shiung Wu (left front) visiting the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in the company of doctors Yuan Jialiu (first right) and Zhang Wenyu. (Xinhua/Li Zhiyuan)

Wu’s spirit inspires the young generation in both China and the United States, especially women scientists, to strive for excellence in the pursuit of science.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) — An international forum was held in Montgomery County, the US state of Maryland, this past weekend to commemorate the 110th birth anniversary of renowned physicist Chien-Shiung Wu.

This forum was co-sponsored by the Chinese Physical Society and the American Physical Society and organized by the Nanjing University Alumni Association United States.

Current and former Chinese and American government officials, as well as members of the scientific and academic communities, delivered remarks online or in-person or sent congratulatory messages to honor Wu’s academic life and her achievements.

Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang said in his video speech that Wu’s academic career shows that exchanges and cooperation are the inherent demands of scientific exploration, adding that “to address current global challenges we need to seek solutions from science,” which “calls for higher-level and higher-quality international exchanges and cooperation in science and technology.”

Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang said in written remarks that Wu’s whole life proves that scientific exchange knows no borders and that the only way to progress is to cooperate and promote exchanges.

Wu’s spirit, according to Qin, inspires the young generation in both China and the United States, especially women scientists, to strive for excellence in the pursuit of science.

Zhang Jie, president of the Chinese Physical Society, and Young-Kee Kim, professor of physics at the University of Chicago and currently vice president of the American Physical Society, delivered opening remarks on behalf of the organizers.

Wan Gang, chairman of the China Association for Science and Technology, and Stephen Orlins, president of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, among others, sent congratulatory letters to the event.

Wu was born in 1912 and raised in a small town just north of Shanghai, China. In 1934, she graduated with a degree in physics from what’s now Nanjing University in east China’s Jiangsu province, before enrolling at the University of California, Berkeley, in the United States, where she received her doctorate in physics.

Wu’s experiments proved that identical nuclear particles do not always act the same way during beta decay — a finding that contradicted the law of conservation of parity.

For her great achievements in the field of physics, Wu received the National Medal of Science of the United States, became the first female president of the American Physical Society, and was elected a member of the American Academy of Sciences and a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

She died of a stroke in New York City in 1997. Her ashes were buried in her hometown in China.


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