Posted in: information

Yuan Yaxiang, member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences:to build a strong country in science and technology, we must really pay attention to basic research

The world is undergoing great changes that have not been seen in a century. The competition between countries is in the final analysis the competition between science and technology and talents. To become a powerful country in science and technology, China must have the courage to explore, break through and forge ahead. The key is to always adhere to independence and independent innovation. Basic research is the foundation of independent innovation. Looking at the world, all the world’s scientific and technological powers are basic research powers. In order to build a scientific and technological power, continuously enhance the ability of independent innovation and fundamentally solve the”bottleneck” problem, we must really pay attention to, stably support, effectively promote basic research and effectively improve the status of basic research.

Pay attention to basic research and”correct its name”. At present, it is urgent to clearly define the connotation of basic research to make it”match the name with the reality”. According to the internationally accepted definition, basic research does not take”practical application” as the baton, but pursues new knowledge, constructs new systems, puts forward new concepts, establishes new theories, gives new methods and reveals new laws. For a long time, China usually refers to the basic problems extracted from the field of practical application science and technology or the field of science and technology with application background as basic research, while the current scientific research that seems to have”no application value” is called pure basic research. Therefore, many departments have repeatedly stressed the need to attach great importance to”basic research”, focusing on”applied basic research” rather than”pure basic research”. As a developing country, it is completely correct to emphasize that science and technology serve the national economic construction, but the seemingly”useless” pure basic research is the source of technological innovation. It points out the direction, provides paths and methods for technological innovation. The viewpoint and practice of equating applied basic research with basic research makes pure basic research on the edge and neglected or even forgotten for a long time, which is not conducive to the rapid progress of China’s scientific research, but also affects the continuous improvement and healthy development of China’s scientific and technological level.

Pay attention to basic research and”support it”. Basic research needs long-term and stable support. Basic research is mainly driven by scientists’ curiosity and curiosity. Major basic research results usually require scientists to focus on a subject for several years or even decades. Because of this characteristic, basic research especially requires scientists to have the spirit of”grinding a sword in ten years”. Because most of the results of basic research can not be applied immediately, few enterprises in China are keen to fund basic research except a few enterprises such as Huawei. At this stage, China’s basic research funds can only mainly rely on public finance. In order for scientists engaged in basic research to be truly at ease, devote themselves and obsessed with their research topics, it is necessary to give them long-term and stable support.

Pay attention to basic research and”broaden its environment”. Basic research needs a relaxed environment. Many of the major basic research achievements come from whimsy, rather than by assigning tasks and setting goals. Basic research relies on the free exploration of scientists. It requires courage, whimsical and bold to take a road that predecessors have not taken. Scientists engaged in basic research should have the scientific spirit of not superstitious authority, daring to question and pursuing truth. Basic research needs a good environment, fertile soil and strong academic atmosphere. Therefore, scientists engaged in basic research should have full freedom in thought and academia. The evaluation and assessment of basic research should also be different from applied research and technical research. At present, there is an urgent need to solve the system and mechanism of medium and long-term academic accumulation of young researchers, especially to formulate an evaluation and assessment system in line with the characteristics of basic research disciplines, so that researchers engaged in basic research do not have to be busy with project approval, evaluation, summary and report all day, and persuading leaders and judges; So that they don’t have to chase after awards, compete for”hats” and seek fame day and night, so as to improve their social status and living conditions; So that they don’t have to worry about the cumbersome and complex payment and reimbursement process in a few years before the start of scientific research. It can be said that when the majority of scientific and technological workers, especially young researchers, are satisfied with the scientific research environment, China is expected to become a world power in basic research.

Pay attention to basic research and”cultivate their talents”. Innovative talents are the source of strength for building a strong country in science and technology. The most important thing in basic research is talents. Without excellent talents, everything is empty talk. At present, some scientific research institutions have made great efforts in introducing talents, but they lack sincerity and action in cultivating and using talents. The cultivation and use of talents is the root of the problem. The key for employers is to cultivate and use existing talents. First of all, the cultivation of talents must rely on the existing talents. Only by giving full play to the talents’ intelligence and making them have a place for heroes, can a unit attract more foreign talents. Secondly, making good use of existing talents should be based on the cultivation and use of young talents.

Pay attention to basic research and”make it different”. For a long time, relevant departments have carried out allocation and management assessment of basic research funds based on the project approval mode, management mode and assessment mode of engineering, technology and other applied research fields, such as the establishment of national laboratories, major special projects and major projects. However, the reality is that some basic research, such as mathematics, theoretical physics and other fields, are often not suitable for establishing large teams, writing clear research objectives and technical routes, and establishing national laboratories. Therefore, in view of the particularity of basic disciplines, we should form a support model different from applied disciplines in terms of allocation of funds, daily management, evaluation and assessment. We should summarize the laws of basic research results in a realistic spirit, so that scientists can release imagination, bloom passion, capture inspiration, be brave in innovation and harvest fruits in a good scientific research environment and strong academic atmosphere.