Vietnamese Talents
Vietnam’s greatest honour for leaders in science and technology
  • | | November 22, 2010 04:55 PM

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Prof. Dr. Dao Tien Khoa took home the top honour during the Vietnamese Talents Awards 2010 and shared his thoughts and jubilation with DTiNews.

Vice State President Nguyen Thi Doan granted the first prize to Prof. Dr. Dao Tien Khoa

“This is an award of the motherland for people who devote their life to scientific research to better develop the nation,” said Khoa during an interview with Dantri/DTiNews after he received the first prize of the Vietnam Talents Awards 2010.

Prof. Dr. Khoa, from the Institute of Sciences and Nuclear Technology under the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute won the prize in the natural science field.

Compared to many other sciences, nuclear physics has not yet been fully developed in Vietnam. This is the second year that the Vietnam Talents Awards honoured natural scientists and you have won the first prize. How do you feel about getting such a noble prize?

When I still studied in Russia, I was afraid of learning nuclear physics because it is a difficult subject. Therefore, I decided to focus on solid state physics. After coming back to Vietnam and working at Hanoi General University, now called Vietnam National University, Hanoi, a senior scientist, Professor Cao Chi, invited me to work at the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute. So I have worked on nuclear physics area for 30 years now.

During the working process at the institute, with achievements I have gained, I recognised that doing research in nuclear physics was lucky for me. This area has brought me lots of inspiration. Whenever each research is completed and announced in international magazines, I have a joy like that of a poet or musician who has a passion for their works. It is the great love of work that motivates me to overcome challenges.

I feel very moved to receive the prize. This is an award for people who devote their life to scientific research. Such awards will encourage young people to pursue scientific research. Working in scientific research is not easy, sometimes very hard and does not give us a satisfactory income, but I affirm that this is one of the most noble careers, particularly when scientists are honoured every year at the Vietnamese Talents Awards.

Senior scientists in natural sciences won prizes at both the Vietnam Talents Awards 2009 and 2010. Are young scientists still inferior to the senior generations?

Honouring scientists in their sixties shows the country’s high appreciation to these people who have made great contributions to the national scientific development. However, this does not mean that young Vietnamese lag behind the senior generations. The Vietnamese have a traditional fondness for learning and today we can hear about names such as Mathematician Ngo Bao Chau and Dam Thanh Son in the physics sector. However, most young Vietnamese scientists are living and working in developed countries because our working conditions and priorities are not attractive enough to them.

In this context, besides reforming policies in investment and treatment in science sector, we need to promote Vietnamese people’s intellect and disseminating popular sciences to all people to raise the whole country’s awareness of knowledge and science. All things that the Vietnam Talent Fund has done are very important to inspire the young generation’s participation in science and technology. The fund should grant a prize for Vietnamese young scientists under 40 years old in the natural science sectors to encourage their contribution.

What is your plan for nuclear physics and training future generations after receiving the prize?

Nowadays, a small number of young people are interested in natural sciences, particularly basic nuclear physics. I am worried that after scientists of our generation retire, no one can be worthy enough to take over our cause. Therefore, I really care about training younger generations and this is among my important orientations in the coming time. After getting the prize, I will share my experience for young generations to inject “the love of science” into them.

You have talked much about application of nuclear physics in life. How has the area been paid attention to?

People’s knowledge of nuclear physics remains limited. Most of them often think about nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants. Our leadership generations since the 1980s have defined specific goals for nuclear physics development and its wide application in life, particularly in health, industry and agriculture sectors.

The National Assembly has just approved a plan to build Vietnam’s first nuclear power plant. The prime minister has signed an overall plan for atomic power application in Vietnam and the move that the state has decided to use thousands of billions of VND to train nuclear human resources is the latest evidence for Vietnam’s determination to nuclear science development.

Thank you!

Over 30 years working in scientific research areas, Prof. Dr. Dao Tien Khoa has announced more than 90 scientific research works, including around 70 named in international magazines such as Nuclear Physics, Physical Review and Physics Letter. These works are ranked by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Khoa’s works are related to many areas, including nuclear structure, nuclear diffusion and nuclear reaction which are core issues of nuclear sciences. Many questions in these areas have not yet been answered. He also participates in both local and foreign scientific research activities.


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