|Title||2019 New Year's Message from President|
2019 New Year's Message from President
Dear IBS Family,
I would like to begin this new year's message with the four Chinese root idiom imjungdowon (任重道遠). Meaning "hefty load with a long way to go", imjungdowon was picked by a group of Korean professors as the expression that best describes the national state of the year 2018. I believe this idiom also speaks well for what IBS has been facing. It entails a long struggle before we see basic science bear fruit and thus, IBS can only take a firm root as a pioneer research institution. We also have a great responsibility to shift the research paradigm.
In 2018, we faced a series of challenges and made extra efforts to address such issues. Some of the situations are ongoing, and more issues are looming on the horizon. Misunderstandings brought criticism and blame. Differences in perspectives and philosophies led to internal crisis. In the meantime, it may also be attributable to our shortcomings. Taking the lead of basic science innovation, IBS staff and researchers are expected to maintain the highest level of sense of duty, responsibility and ethical standards. We should be always vigilant of getting negligent or sloppy in our attempts to pursue the leading research and create an optimal research environment. In the face of insurmountable challenges, we will continue to move forward one step at a time to realize our vision and make scientific progress. I believe such journey may define our imjungdowon.
Looking on the bright side, we witnessed a number of meaningful results in 2018. The year heralded the era of IBS HQ, which we have long wished for. Equipped with outstanding research facilities and environment, the new IBS HQ will provide full support for IBS researchers. As a total of 30 IBS Centers are now actively exploring new frontiers in the basic sciences, IBS is gathering momentum. We also declared the 2nd 5-year growth strategy (2018-2022) to outline our vision to increase HQ Centers and operate core facilities. With Dr. LEE Changjoon joining the Center for Cognition and Sociality as co-director, it is expected to achieve strong synergy of group research at HQ Centers. We will further encourage co-directorship so that IBS Centers become umbrella research units comprising diverse research institutes in relevant fields.
We also introduced a new HQ Center model, the Pioneer Research Center (PRC). Comprised of independent research groups led by mid-career Chief Investigators (CI), PRCs will pioneer new fields. The newly selected CIs, Dr. KIM Ho Min, Dr. OUM Sang-il, and Dr. CHA Meeyoung are our newest next-generation leaders in the basic sciences. IBS will provide full support for PRCs to grow into influential research units just as the existing IBS Centers. It is our great responsibility to ensure the next generation has opportunities to do the science they are passionate for. Once core facilities such as the supercomputer center, imaging center, and animal testing lab are complete, IBS HQ will emerge as a hub for large-scale, group, basic science studies. It is also on our to-do list to ensure smooth construction of the RAON accelerator in the Shin-dong district. The RAON project is expected to take a step further with new director Dr. KWON Myeun at the helm.
It is our great pride that IBS researchers continue to publish notable research results and thus IBS is being recognized by renowned journals. Nine IBS researchers are recently ranked as highly cited researchers by the Clarivate Analytics. Notably, IBS produced the largest number of influential researchers among Korean institutions, accounting for 17% in total. There also have been a number of new honors and awards presented. To name just a few, SHIN Hee-Sup, Director of the IBS Center for Cognition and Sociality, was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Rodney Ruoff, Director of the IBS Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials, was named as a citation laureate by Clarivate Analytics. Andreas Heinrich, Director of the Center for Quantum Nanoscience received the Joseph F. Keithley Award For Advances in Measurement Science from the American Physical Society.
IBS Centers continue to present exceptional research achievements, such as investigations into the mystery of dark matter, the blueprint for El Nino diversity, nuclear spin, single-crystal metal foil, and the mechanism of falling petals. Our attempts to broaden the knowledge of humanity will only continue. I thank all of our IBS staff and researchers for being committed to their duties. Just as science continues to advance over the hard times, IBS will keep moving forward in its journey to pursue research excellence.
A bumpy road might be ahead in moving toward our goal to become a global research institute. However, when we are all united, we may accomplish our vision just like the saying "after a storm comes a calm" goes. Avoiding a crisis situation is a stopgap solution. Crisis can become an opportunity to evaluate and rectify our faults. What matters in this learning moment are our principles and visions. Regardless of the situations surrounding us, we should not lose sight of our goal for the advancement of science. What unites IBS family members from all walks of life is the deep-seated trust toward both science and scientists. It is scientists' duty to enable the humanity to "stand on the shoulders of giants" to see more things and more distant than they could previously. It means that scientific breakthroughs or knowledge by major thinkers should be useful for people to expand their perspectives or understanding. Only then, we can be guaranteed public support and recognized for our efforts. Our vision for scientific breakthroughs will not be compromised against any changes in time and place.
2019 is my final year as IBS president. At the top of my to-do list is to ensure a smooth transition for my successor. I will try to address overdue issues within my term so that my successor can start with a clean sheet. When scaling a mountain, we face stiff peaks. As one peak is followed by additional tough peaks, our energy and patience drain, literally being in imjungdowon. However, after enduring such difficulties, we may find ourselves at the top of the mountain. I hope all of our IBS family members enjoy the achievements of reaching the top of your own personal mountain without failure. Until the very end, I will be your leader and support you as best I can. Let's strive forward together in this new year. I wish you a very warm and joyful year.
January 2nd 2019