I recently visited the Eye Hospital at Wenzhou Medical College, where they have very good research infrastructure that has integrated various aspects of basic and clinical ophthalmology research together. I gave two talks over there and had a great interaction with everyone. I did not get a chance to take many pictures but here are a few snapshots of some interesting things that I have seen. One particularly impressive setup in their group is a large meeting and relaxing area that is right next to the research laboratories. Conducting a successful research is about communication and conversation; merely having good equipment is not enough, it is crucial to have effective interaction between research members at all levels. With a wonderful atmosphere as such, I can totally imagine the colleagues from Wenzhou will have very fruitful and exciting interactions. Indeed, the teachers there are very sincere and down-to-earth, and the students are very enthusiastic in learning new ideas. Many of them were in fact courageous enough to ask questions and discussed their ideas during and after my lectures. This is really contradictory to the stereotype of many quiet and obedient Asian students. No wonder their group has a very rigorous research and education program.
It is really gratifying to see that there are many Chinese Institutes conducting good research. When the West is undermining their good research infrastructure in the midst of a poor economy, it is not surprising that the East is going to catch up and will lead the scientific research in the near term future.