Wei Yang, Ph.D. '85 in Engineering and recipient of a Brown honorary degree last May, has been named president of China’s National Natural Sciences Foundation, the nation’s top science agency. He takes the helm of an organization that last year allocated $2.8 billion to fund scientific activity. In a recent interview with Science magazine, Yang said he hopes to increase the agency’s funding substantially. “China has to transition from an economic powerhouse to a technological powerhouse and then to a scientific and cultural powerhouse,” he said. “To achieve this goal, we will need many scientists, and we need to convince the government that it should provide more funding to the NSFC.” Before the NSFC, Yang was president of Zhejiang University and head of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Technological Science Division. He was the youngest person ever to achieve the rank of full professor of engineering at Tsinghua University, which he did just four years after his graduation from Brown.
March 11, 2013