Professor Yuan Tse Lee's visit to the Faculty of Science

03 September 2014
Jim Metson and Prof Lee
Professor Yuan Tse Lee and Deputy Dean Professor Jim Metson

Professor Yuan Tse Lee, an esteemed Taiwanese Chemist and Nobel Prize Laureate, visited the Faculty of Science in August to give a lecture for young scientists while in New Zealand as part of the Royal Society International Council for Science General Assembly. 

Professor Lee spoke about his student days in Taiwan, and how as a little boy he read a book about scientist Marie Currie and learnt of her “extraordinary determination and patience” which showed him “how beautiful the life of a scientist can be.”

In post-World War II Taiwan, under the repressive and corrupt Kuomintang-led Republic of China rule, a young Professor Lee dreamed about becoming the “master of himself” and leading a “meaningful life.” He aspired to work with idealistic people which led him to study with Professor Bruce Mahan at Berkeley University in California where he gained a PhD in Chemistry.

Professor Lee expressed an interest in engaging with young scientists for his lecture My life as a scientist. For this reason the audience was made up of around 100 selected undergraduate and postgraduate students and University staff. This allowed for an intimate engagement before being taken out to lunch at the Northern Club with Deputy Dean, Professor Jim Metson, and six PhD students from the Faculty of Science.