Newsletter No. 524

# 5 2 4 | 0 4 . 1 0 . 2 0 1 8 口 谈 实 录 / V iva V oce 粮食不足的问题有多严重? 据联合国报告,全球食不果腹、营养不良的人口2016年有八亿一千五百万, 是总人口的一成一,当中亚洲占了五亿二千万,非洲占二亿四千三百万。换 句话说,每九个人便有一个捱饿,每几秒更有一个人死于饥饿。 你在新推出的通识课程「二十一世纪全球公民大挑战」里教授一个单元,是 个怎样的挑战? 我主讲的题目是「粮食危机与永续农业」。当农作物失收时,活在同一天空 下的社会公民没有谁可独善其身。科学家的责任是研究新技术,增加粮食 产量和提升质量;而社会公民除要珍惜食物外,更应意识如何应用科研成 果,集思广益,共同努力,确保粮食安全和可持续发展之间的平衡。 你研究大豆多年,成果丰硕,你认为所获肯定是否足够? 研究的成果归功于整个团队。来自各方的肯定固然是一种鼓励,但这不是 研究的目的,我的愿望是探知求真,为人类文明进步和生活改善作一点点 贡献。 在教研层面还希望有怎样的进展? 希望通过教学,培育接棒的年轻一代科研人员,并藉研究所得,激发更多相 关研究,齐为人类福祉而努力。或许我们的研究资助未必及得上内地一些 机构和院校雄厚,但香港是国际城市,中大又与海外院校和科研机构建立 了紧密联系,可让我们开展前沿、创新、富冒险精神的研究。 为何活跃于网上社交网络? 在大学任职给我一个很好的舞台。研究让我接触到海内外不同的科研人 员,也有机会参观各地农村和田间工作。教学和学生宿舍舍监工作以外,我 还参与中学课程发展和推动STEM教育。我很希望能藉社交网络分享所见 所闻,供学生参考,同时传递正能量,鼓励他们要有更广阔视野、更包容、 更关爱,以及更具睿智的理性思维。我知道一些学生平时不会主动和我谈 话,但会看我的脸书专页。 怎样看网民留言赞赏或是恶意攻击? 科学精神是求真、讲逻辑,辩论也如是,我不介意别人不认同我的看法,欢 迎他们提出事实和观点来讨论,但前提是理性和客观,对于无理的攻击, 不用动气,也不必纠结。 你爱习蔡李佛,习武与工作可有相通之处? 当初与女儿一起在新亚国术会习武,是觉得除强身健体和减压外,更是和 女儿的亲子时间。回想十多年前初学时,对于没有武术底子的我,非常辛 苦,但亦让我更深体会到坚持的重要,并不追求当最好,而是挑战和超越自 己,不断改进,这亦可放诸工作上。 How severe is food shortage? According to a UN report, the number of undernourished people worldwide rose to 815 million in 2016 (520 m in Asia; 243 m in Africa), accounting for 11% of the world’s population. In other words, one in nine had starved while one died of hunger every few seconds. What’s the challenge of teaching in the new GE course ‘Grand Challenges for Global Citizens in the 21st Century’? My topic is ‘Hunger and Sustainable Agriculture’. No one can stay away from the effects of a widespread crop failure. Scientists are responsible for developing new technologies to increase crop yield and quality. Besides not wasting food, ordinary citizens have to work together to keep the balance between food supply and sustainable development with the application of the technologies. Are you satisfied with the recognitions you received for your soybean research? The credit goes to every one in the research team. It’s certainly encouraging to have received such recognitions, but it’s not the ultimate goal of research. I want to get to the bottom of things and contribute my little part to the betterment of civilization and human livelihood. How do you view the next stage of your teaching and research? I hope to nurture the next generation of researchers through teaching and to inspire more related research through my work with the aim of improving the human lot. We might not be as well endowed in research funding as our mainland counterparts. But Hong Kong is an international city, and CUHK has set up a close network with overseas research institutions. We have an edge in forefront, innovative and bold research. You are also active in social media. Why? The University is a good platform for me to know researchers from all corners of the world, as well as visiting villages and doing fieldworks around the world. In addition to my roles as teacher and hostel warden, I also take part in secondary school curriculum development and the promotion of STEM education. I hope I can share all these experiences in the social media to impart a positive attitude so as to encourage the students to broaden their horizons and be more considerate and develop rational thinking. Some of the students will not usually raise anything with me but they would check out my Facebook. How do you view the ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ left by netizens? The spirit of science is the attainment of truth via logical thinking. This is the same for debate. I don’t mind disagreements at all and would welcome facts and points of view. One must always remain rational and objective, and should be neither angered nor vexed by the trolls. You’ve been practising kung fu (Choy Lee Fu) for years. Anything in common between kung fu and your work? The purpose of joining the New Asia Chinese Kung Fu Society with my daughter is twofold: to work out and relieve stress, and to have a father-daughter time regularly. I had a tough start more than 15 years ago, but I also realized the importance of persistence. The object of pursuit is not perfection but overcoming challenges and continuous improvement. This also applies to work. C.F. • 生命科学学院分子生物技术学课程主任 Director, Molecular Biotechnology Programme, School of Life Sciences • 农业生物技术国家重点实验室(香港中文大学)主任 Director, State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology (CUHK) • 大学教育资助委员会卓越学科领域植物与环境互作基因组研究中心主任 Director, University Grants Committee Areas of Excellence Centre for Genomic Studies on Plant-Environment Interaction 林 汉明 教授 Prof. Lam Hon-ming

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