Professor Trần Thanh Vân. — Photo tienphong.vn
Overseas Professor Trần Thanh Vân, talks to the newspaper Tiền Phong (Vanguard) about the country’s need to pay a high salary to people working in science and technology.
What should we do to encourage young Vietnamese to get more involved in science research?
Our Meeting Việt Nam Organisation (MVO) encourages young people to get involved in science research. The MVO has already created a centre for science exploration in the central city of Quy Nhơn. The centre is a venue for young people to meet and talk with scientists. In my opinion, the centre should be a venue for all young Vietnamese - ranging from primary school to university - interested in science. We should let the children lay their hands on science right at an early age. At first, they should become acquainted with simple physic tests. As time goes by, these activities will foster the children’s love for science. In big cities, I propose we should set up science clubs to attract young people.
What’s about students?
We don’t have many laboratories for students to conduct scientific research. I’m pretty sure that astronomy is one of the most interesting topics for Vietnamese students. But this subject is not included in the training curriculum. That’s why, in my opinion, we need change.
What should be changed then? Just like all other scientific topics, including scientific research, they all need changing. Of course, teachers are the leaders. But, in my opinion, the most important idea is for teachers to instil a love for science.
I remember the first time I met Đàm Thanh Sơn in 1993 when he just completed his dissertation on physics. But now he has become a well known physicist working in quantum.
We need many overseas Vietnamese lodestar scientists like Đàm Thanh Sơn to meet and talk with young Vietnamese students to instil in them a love for science. In my opinion, such meetings would be useful for the young Vietnamese generation.
Of course, to arrange such meetings would not be easy for scientists, as their schedules are often full. But, we can do it if we all want to!
So, you don’t think it’s easy to arrange a meeting for Vietnamese students with world renowned professor scientists?
I’m sorry to say that Vietnamese scientists cannot devote their whole hearts and minds to their scientific research or creativity as they can’t live on their salary. This is food for thought for Việt Nam. In foreign countries, scientists are free from want and care. They simply focus on their scientific work.
I’m pretty sure that Vietnamese scientists only want their monthly salary to be enough to cover their daily life expenses so that they can focus their efforts on scientific research. So, in my opinion, the Government should adopt a special policy to help them.
In the past, Singapore was a poor country and had a small population. Their science was not advanced either. But now, Singapore has become an advanced scientific nation. So Singapore is a good example for Việt Nam to follow.
Việt Nam has a big potential for scientific research. However, this depends on the willingness of the country’s leadership and of course the support of society._VNS