Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Journalist Hàm Châu, who was famous for writing profiles of outstanding Vietnamese and foreign scientists, died of a stroke in Hà Nội on Monday. He was 83 years old.
Born into an intellectual family in the central province of Nghệ An, he graduated from National Economics University but chose to become a journalist.
With a high command of three foreign languages — including Chinese, Russia and English — and a deep knowledge of science, he was equipped with the skills to connect with and share the stories of scientists in well-written articles.
During his long career, he worked for several different publications.
After working as a reporter at the Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nội) newspaper, he was editor-in-chief of Tổ Quốc (Motherland) magazine. He was also in charge of the Nhân Dân newspaper (weekend issue) and English-language magazine Vietnam Cultural Window.
Even though he wrote about different topics, his most famous articles were about science and education.
He wrote more than 2,500 articles, published 10 books under his name and co-published 23 books with other authors, including a 1,200-page book titled Trí Thức Tinh Hoa Việt Nam Đương Đại (Việt Nam’s Contemporary Intellectuals).
His latest book, which he recently finished, is titled Ánh Sáng Nhân Văn Trong Thế Giới Các Nhà Vật lý (Humane Light in the World of Physicists).
This 830-page literary chronicle, rich with interesting observations and emotion, talks about the important international scientific meetings he joined in Việt Nam and different countries around the world, as well as the portraits of scientists who won Nobel prizes and world-renowned scientists of Vietnamese origin.
Nguyễn Tử Uyên, Hàm Châu’s son, said his father lived alone in Hà Nội in order to have ideal conditions for finishing his book. He had planned to move to HCM City to live with his son after publishing his book.
Hàm Châu was close to Professor Trần Thanh Vân, founder of Meeting Việt Nam, which held meetings aimed at creating opportunities for Vietnamese scientists to access advanced science and network with famous scientists from around the world, as well as encourage young Vietnamese scholars’ scientific studies and inventions. Hàm Châu also accompanied Prof Vân to different regions of the country when Vân offered Vallet scholarships to Vietnamese students, along with the support of Professor Odon Vallet of France’s Sorbonne University.
“Journalist Hàm Châu became close to us in 1993 when he was reporting on the first Meeting Vietnam. I never met such a journalist who was so passionate about science,” Vân said.
“The country lost a devoted journalist who gave himself to the country’s science development. We will never have such a devoted journalist who has such profound knowledge of science like him.”
Vân said that just a few days ago, he had discussed with Hàm Châu a plan to offer scholarships to students. On Monday, when they sent him airplane tickets, they also received the news of his death.
“I do not know how much this news will sadden Prof Odon Vallet, because during each trip to offer scholarships to students, Châu used to sit close to Prof Vallet and tell him stories about the culture, history and people of different regions of Việt Nam where we passed through,” he said. “Vallet appreciated Châu a lot and was very interested in his stories.” — VNS