By Industry Editor Kim Tae-moon, Reporter Won Hwi
Ambassador Marco Della Seta of Italy in Seoul said, “The Italian Minister for Education, University and Research has recently established the Italian Research Day in the world, scheduled for April 15 of each year, on the anniversary of the birth of Leonardo da Vinci.”
Speaking at a meeting he hosted at the Embassy of Italy in Seoul in Hannam-dong, Seoul on April 12, 2018, Ambassador Seta then stated that the aim is to enhance the skills and the quality of Italian researchers abroad, but also to promote concrete measures and investments to enable researchers who wish to continue their careers at home.
The meeting cum a beautiful luncheon was attended by an estimated 50 Korean academicians and media representatives.
Among the scholars in attendance were Chairman Kwangyun Wohn of the National Research Council of Science & Technology of Korea, President Doochul Kim of the Institute for Basic Science, President Madam Heisook Kim of Ewha Womans University, and President Young-moo Lee of Hanyang University.
From the media came some leading Korean journalists, including Vice Chairman Choe Nam-suk, President Kim Hyung-dae and Industry Editor Kim Tae-moon of The Korea Post media, owning and operating 3 English and 2 Korean-language news media organizations.
The welcome speech of Ambassador Seta was followed by speeches by some of the Korean scholars, including President Kim of IBS, Chairman Wohn of NRCSTK and Presidents Kim of Ewha U. and Lee of Hanyang U.
IBS President Kim said, “The world is more global than ever before and the flux of researchers to all corners of the globe allows new possibilities for the spread of information and the gleaning of new knowledge, and I am truly grateful for sharing your best and brightest with the rest of us.”
Then he said, “Italian researchers in Korea are benefiting not only Korea, and not only Italy, but the whole of science. Su questo non ci piove! (no doubt about it) Thank you very much!”
President Madam Heisook Kim of Ewha, Korea’s leading women’s university also had close relationship with Italy.
Speaking at the meeting, she said: “Ewha has seen fruitful bilateral cooperation between with Italian institutions in both faculty and student exchanges. Our academic cooperation with Italian academia has been particularly strong in the field of science and technology. There have been exchanges in the field of food sciences and environmental sciences and now there are currently two Italian scientists in the field of physics and nanoscience working at Ewha campus.”
Then she introduced Dr. Claudio Saracini and Dr. Fabio Donati. She said, “I am grateful for the fruitful exchanges between Ewha and the Italian scholars and I look forward to seeing more academic traffic taking place in the future.” (See excerpts from her speech at the end of this report.)
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Seta:
I’m really delighted to be host of all you today and let me say that this is indeed a special occasion.
The Italian Minister for Education, University and Research has recently established the Italian Research Day in the world, scheduled for April 15 of each year, on the anniversary of the birth of Leonardo da Vinci. The aim is to enhance the skills and the quality of Italian researchers abroad, but also to promote concrete measures and investments to enable researchers who wish to continue their careers at home.
In the Republic of Korea, the Embassy of Italy, through its Science and Technology Office, has enthusiastically decided to join the initiative and to organize such a special event devoted to all representatives of the Italian scientific community in Korea as well as to main representatives of the Korean institutions involved in research activities.
I am happy to welcome by my residence very distinguished guests from governmental research institutions and universities, and also numerous representatives of press organizations.
I would like to express my special thanks also to the Italian scientists for accepting the invitation and being here despite their busy schedules and daily commitments.
The community of Italian scientists in Korea currently consists of 25 experts working in prestigious Korean institutions. Their activities range in the most diverse areas, from basic sciences such as physics, astrophysics and mathematics to nano-sciences, innovative energies, and biotechnology.
This community largely contributes with its work to the cooperation between individual institutions, departments, laboratories and scientists trying to create opportunities and disseminate information.
For young Italian scientists spending a period in Korea either as a doctoral candidate, post-doc or researcher represents an extraordinary opportunity to join cutting-edge programmes, get in touch with an highly advanced scientific environment, and nurture their skills to build up a successful career. For Korean faculties and research managers based at local institutions, hosting Italian researchers is usually an excellent investment, because their education quality which is universally recognized and appreciated. Moreover, in spite of the lower quantity of research in Italy compared to other European countries, the ratio between results and investments is excellent, making the Italian scientific research system one of the best in the world in terms of productivity and quality. No question this ever occurred as shown by the 14 Nobel laureates in scientific fields.
As you probably know, if we compared our two countries many aspects in science and research are promising in terms of potential and future collaborations. There are differences of course: Korea has many excellences in infrastructures, large equipment and financial investments; on the other hand Italy has a long tradition in basic science, university education and excellent quality of research manpower. So our countries could be complementary in terms of mutual collaborations and many synergic opportunities may be exploited in all disciplines.
I am pleased to remark that the present event is intended to celebrate the Italian scientific community in Korea but also to introduce the Korean media to it. The support and collaboration of Korean research and academic institutions is gratefully acknowledged and future developments in the cooperation among Italian and Korean researchers is highly expected.
Wishing to all Italian scientists a fruitful and rewarding professional experience in Korea, I express my sincere appreciation to all of You for joining us today.
Excerpts from the speech of President Doochul Kim of IBS:
I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the Italian Embassy for hosting this reception to celebrate Italian researchers at home and abroad.
Special thanks to His Excellency Ambassador Marco della Seta and Professor Francesco Canganella, the Science and Technology Counsellor for inviting me to participate in this newly established day. I am honored to be here with you today.
I was asked by the organizers to say a few words about IBS, the Institute for Basic Science. IBS was established in 2011 to promote and secure creative knowledge for future generations through world-class research in the basic sciences.
The four core principles of IBS are excellence, openness, autonomy, and creativity. With the vision of Making Discoveries for Humanity and Society, IBS conducts large-scale, convergent, and massive equipment-based research in basic science that is difficult to be carried out by universities.
Funded by taxpayer money, the output of research is to help not a private company, but science in general, so all people may benefit. In order for the research to benefit a vast number of people, we require a diversity of researchers to reap the best ideas.
We currently have bilateral cooperation between IBS and Italian institutions after signing MOUs with INFN, National Institute for Nuclear Physics and SISSA, International School for Advanced Studies. Moreover, this October we are going to have a bilateral symposium with Italian institutions on underground physics at the Italian-Korean Symposium.
The world is more global than ever before and the flux of researchers to all corners of the globe allows new possibilities for the spread of information and the gleaning of new knowledge. I am truly grateful for sharing your best and brightest with the rest of us.
Italian researchers in Korea are benefiting not only Korea, and not only Italy, but the whole of science. Su questo non ci piove! (no doubt about it) Thank you very much!
Excerpts from the speech of President Heisook Kim of Ewha Womans University:
I have to say that the date for this event was very well set because Leonardo da Vinci, renowned primarily as a painter, was also a very serious scientist conducting most innovative studies in science and technology ahead of his time. He was the all-around man, true Renaissance polymath pioneering almost all of the academic fields from arts, history to sciences including medical studies.
At Ewha, we regard international cooperation and exchanges significant part of our system. Ewha has seen fruitful bilateral cooperation between Ewha and Italian institutions in both faculty and student exchanges. Our academic cooperation with Italian academia has been particularly strong in the field of science and technology. There have been exchanges in the field of food sciences and environmental sciences and now there are currently two Italian scientists in the field of physics and nanoscience working at Ewha campus:
Dr. Claudio Saracini has joined our Department of Chemistry and Nano Science in 2016.
Dr. Fabio Donati is a Research Professor in our Physics Department since 2017. I am grateful for the fruitful exchanges between Ewha and Italian scholars and I look forward to see more academic traffic taking place in the future.
I hope this commemorative day would promote more Italian scientists to advance in their fields, encouraging more academic cooperation between Korean and Italian scientists in the coming years. I wish you all happiness and great success in your future endeavor.