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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: November 19, 2010 NO. 47 NOVEMBER 25, 2010

Scientist Laureate

Vivian Wing-Wah Yam, a professor at the Chemistry Department of the University of Hong Kong, was recently announced among the five laureates of the 2011 L'Oreal-UNESCO Women Scientist Awards, for her contributions in light-emitting materials and innovative ways of capturing solar energy.

Yam, 47, obtained her Ph.D at the University of Hong Kong and became professor there in 1997 and chair professor in 1999. She was head of the university's Chemistry Department from 2000 to 2005, and became the Philip Wong Wilson Wong Professor in Chemistry and Energy in 2009.

Yam was elected an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences at 38, the youngest member of the top Chinese research institution at that time. In 2006, she became a fellow of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, and has also been awarded a Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) centenary lectureship and medal.

Initiated 13 years ago, the L'Oreal-UNESCO Awards each year honor five outstanding women scientists—one per continent—for their research contributions, the strength of their commitments and their impact on society. Yam is the laureate for the Asia-Pacific region.

Grassroots Inventor

Lesser-known inventor Song Youzhou's creature—the Straddling Bus—has been listed in the 50 Best Inventions of 2010 by Time magazine.

With more than 50 invention patents, 52-year-old Song is now board chairman of the Shenzhen Huashi Future Parking Equipment Co., which he founded with several partners last year.

The straddling bus is inspired by rush-hour grid-locked traffic in major Chinese cities and may reduce road traffic by 20 to 30 percent, said Song.

Song's designed bus runs along special tracks 4.5 meters above a road surface so ordinary cars can pass underneath it. It can carry up to 1,400 passengers and travel as fast as 60 km to 80 km an hour.

Though having no more than six years of schooling, keen observation provided the tools for Song to invent many objects to meet people's daily need. Besides the straddling bus, he is also very proud of his confetti firework. The firework has been widely used in China for various big events.

Highest-Paid Writer

Yang Hongying tops the newly released 2010 Chinese Writer's Rich List with an annual royalty income of 25 million yuan ($3.68 million). With more than 40 million copies of her books sold in the past 10 years, Yang, 48, is one of the most popular children's writers in China.

Yang has worked as a primary school teacher, children's book editor, mentor of a children's newspaper and executive editor of a children's magazine. She began her writing career at 19 when her students suggested she should write books since she had the talent.

Since its first book was released in mid-2003, Yang's best-selling Naughty Boy Ma Xiaotiao series, which tells stories of primary school student Ma Xiaotiao and his friends and family, has sold more than 16 million copies. New York-based HarperCollins Publishers bought the rights to publish the series in foreign languages in overseas markets in August 2007, after the French version of the series became available in France a year earlier.

"The world economy is growing slowly and the structure of global demand is changing, which puts new pressure on China in its efforts to stabilize and expand exports and maintain a stable and relatively rapid economic growth."

Li Keqiang, Chinese Vice Premier, on challenges to China in its next development phase in a comment published on November 14

"China has had capital controls on short-term flows that have worked, not perfectly, but have worked to stabilize these short-term flows. But at the same time, it's been very open to long-term investments."

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, at a press conference in Hong Kong on November 11. He said emerging economies would need capital controls to manage flows of "hot money" and ensure economic stability in the wake of the United States' ultra-easy monetary policy

"It's like running a marathon, and finding out during the race that they have added more kilometers to the course."

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, saying in an interview with Proto Thema newspaper the country could seek an extension for repaying its rescue loans, and conceding the deficit revision would add pressure on his government to cut costs

"First of all you have to ask: Do we need to defeat it [Islamist militancy] in the sense of a clear cut victory? I would argue that it is unnecessary and would never be achieved."

General David Richards, the head of the British armed forces, in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph

"Looking back to the sovereignty conflicts in this region, bilateral approaches have proven more effective than multilateral approaches. So regarding the South China Sea issue, we should stick to the China-ASEAN framework and the China-Individual Claimant States Framework."

Chheang Vannarith, Executive Director of the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, proposing solutions to the South China Sea disputes in an interview with Xinhua News Agency

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