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On May 4, 2017, the KIAA 10th Anniversary Symposium was held at Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University (KIAA, PKU). In attendance were Jianhua Lin, President of PKU, Jie Wang, Vice President of PKU, Song Gao, Vice President of PKU, Zhihong Xu, Former President of PKU, Enge Wang, Vice President of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Former President of PKU, Xincheng Xie, Dean of Physics School of PKU, Jiansheng Chen, Founding Director of Department of Astronomy of PKU, Douglas Lin, Founding Director of KIAA, Luis C. Ho, Director of KIAA, Fukun Liu, Director of Department of Astronomy (DoA) of PKU, Miyoung Chun, Executive Vice President of Science Programs of Kavli Foundation, Simon White, Director of Max Plank Institute for Astrophysics, Chair of KIAA Science Advisory Committee (SAC), and other KIAA SAC members, Robert Williams, Former President of International Astronomical Union, Co-chair of KIAA Governing Board (GB), and other KIAA GB members, Anthony Lasenby, Former Deputy Director of Kavli Institute for Cosmology at University of Cambridge (KICC), Tom Abel, Director of Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University (KIPAC), Hitoshi Murayama, Director of Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at Tokyo University (KIPMU), Fuchun Zhang, Director of Kavli Institute for Theoretical Science of CAS (KITS), and Academicians including Youyuan Zhou, Jingxiu Wang, and Xiangqun Cui, as well as leaders and colleagues from domestic and other international observatories and universities devoted to astronomy. The symposium was hosted by Xuebing Wu, Associate Director of KIAA, and Fukun Liu, and started with an opening video displaying the development history of KIAA and its major research breakthroughs over the last ten years.
Jianhua Lin, President of PKU, gave welcome remarks noting the major progress on scientific research, education and talent training of KIAA, and the growing international influence of astronomy in PKU. He expressed his special gratitude to all the colleagues who have made great contribution to the founding and development of KIAA. He expects KIAA to make greater progress in the next decade and to build a world-class institute.
Luis C. Ho
Luis C. Ho, Director of KIAA, gave a report on KIAA’s development over the last ten years. He listed five key factors to build a world-class institute: talented researchers, open and elegant research environment, strong academic program, solid support from Kavli Foundation and PKU, and efficient management. He addressed the initiatives to establish KIAA as a platform connecting all the astronomers in China and in the world, and that the young KIAA will devote every effort to promote the development of astronomy in China to a whole new level.
Miyoung Chun from the Kavli Foundation introduced the 20 Kavli institutes around the world, and shared the experiences on efficiently supporting these top institutes and promoting their mutual collaboration. She also expressed her gratitude to the founding members, Jiansheng Chen, Douglas Lin, and the presidents of Peking University.
Zhihong Xu, Former President of PKU, remarked that he was honored to make the decision to build this leading institute in astronomy. The symposium reminded him of the days of building the institute at the beginning. Many obstacles needed to be overcome. “We need to make our mind to do it. I’ll take full responsibilities if there’s any problem,” he used to say. After two years of preparation and many negotiations, PKU finally facilitated the founding of KIAA. He is very pleased to see the achievements that KIAA has made over ten years.
Jiansheng Chen, Former Director of DoA, who made great contributions to build the institute, shared many pleasant stories about the founding of KIAA with the guests. He emphasized hat rather than the previous experiences in China and in the world, a world-class institute like KIAA needs to find and adapt its own way of development that accords with the conditions in China.
Douglas Lin, Founding Director of KIAA, described the founding of KIAA as “ the right place, right time and right people”. He believes that KIAA has made all the astronomers’ dream came true: it’s a place without boundaries among countries, just as the universe. He wishes KIAA to gain a new level of development, many new astronomy discoveries and a new generation of astronomers during the next ten years.
Xincheng Xie, Dean of School of Physics of PKU, described the scientific research achievements of KIAA as “stunning”. He believes that the open research environment, the innovative research team and the various scientific activities of KIAA have set a good example to the other departments and schools at PKU.
Fukun Liu, Chair of DoA, stressed the importance of collaboration in the discipline construction of astronomy. He expects KIAA and DoA to carry forward their advantages to promote mutual development, and to lead the development of astronomy in China.
MoU Signing Ceremony
A Kavli Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by Luis C. Ho, Director of KIAA, Hitoshi Murayama, Director of KIPMU, and Miyoung Chun, Executive Vice President of Science Programs of Kavli Foundation. The KIAA-KIPMU joint postdoctoral fellowship program will be launched starting 2018, with the goals to promote collaboration and joint development of astronomy in between the two institutes.
Speeches were also delivered by Robert Williams, Simon White, Enge Wang, Hitoshi Murayama, Fu-Chun Zhang, Anthony Lasenby, Tom Abel, and representatives from domestic observatories and universities, including Gang Zhao, Associate Director of National Astronomical Observatories of CAS, Zhiqiang Shen, Associate Director of Shanghai Astronomical Observatory of CAS , Jinming Bai, Director of Yunnan Astronomical Observatory of CAS, Na Wang, Director of Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory of CAS, Yongtian Zhu, Director of Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics & Technology of CAS, and other special invited guests and colleagues. They gave their sincere congratulations and best wishes for KIAA to lead the astronomy in China in the next decade.
Science highlights were presented by faculty, postdocs and PhD students from KIAA in the afternoon.