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Wu Hong: The Touching People and Things I Encountered at PKU School of Life Sciences

MAY . 25 2017

Peking University, May 20, 2017: On May 4th 2017, Peking University celebrated  its 119th anniversary. More than 60 PKU scholars and students shared their PKU stories by means of videos or speeches. These stories, ranging from academics to education, from campus construction to PKU spirits, form a rich panorama of Peking University. 
Wu Hong, dean of School of Life Sciences (SLS), talked about the touching people and things she encountered.

Wu Hong sharing her stories

"Xiao Lingyun is the first Conservation Biology Ph.D. student I knew. She lives at a lamasery at the altitude of 4700 meters with her colleagues, where no tap water, electricity or Internet is available. It even takes nine hours to drive to the nearest public bathroom. Every day at the first gleam of light, she set out carrying dry food and telescopes. Day after day, year after tear, she devotes herself to the research of snow leopards. As for Zeng Zhou, I’ve never met him, because he left us forever 32 years ago. He was one of the first students who followed Professor Pan Wenshi to study the pandas and SLS teachers and students never forget him. His tomb was rebuilt in 1994, and the following line was carved on the plain tombstone, 'Because of you, we love this land even more'”.

Last year, the IUCN reclassified the species from "endangered" to "vulnerable", which may be the best comfort to him! Pan Wenshi, Lv Zhi, Zeng Zhou, Xiao Lingyun—SLSers have never stopped the study of conservation biology. Their study is not merely a question of biology, but also a question of the coexistence of men and nature. To them, observation biology is not only their major, but also their life style and choice of life.

"Ms. Hu Shiyi is only 1 year younger than the age of our department. From entering PKU in 1955 to her retirement, she has taught countless students. What touches me most is her smile – her bright and energetic smile that highlights her personal charms. Last year, Ms. Hu’s 90th birthday coincided with the publication of her new work. Our teachers from the botany specialty hosted a book launch since she wouldn’t let us hold a birthday party for her. There are many more teachers that I respect like Ms. Hu. From them, I see the inheritance of PKU spirits. For example, the team led by Deng Hongkui have been working on stem cells for years. Together with Tang Chao’s team, they have made the simplest yet most profound interpretations of the mechanism of cell fate determination. There are also many young scientists. Tang Fuchou, studied at SLS for both his undergraduate and graduate studies. The team led by him, together with a clinical team led by Dr. Qiao Jie from PKU Third Hospital, is trying to reveal the mysteries in early human development. Still waters run deep. There are many students like Tang Fuchou at SLS who devote themselves to studies and researches. They are our hope and will have a great influence on PKU’s future."
"If we compare School of Life Sciences to a seed, then Peking University’s history of more than 100 years and the interdisciplinary development in the recent decades is the fertile soil. Here, we understand life, study life, care for life and respect life. Education is the extension of our life and career. As a teacher in the School of Life Sciences, I am proud of SLS.”
Written by: Wang Xi
Edited by: Xu Penghang
Source: Beida News (Chinese)