|China presents awards to outstanding scientists|
BEIJING, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Two scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences received China's top science honor Monday for their outstanding contributions to scientific and technological innovation.
Gu Chaohao, a mathematician, and space scientist Sun Jiadong won China's 2009 State Top Scientific and Technological Award.
Gu was born in 1926 in Wenzhou of southeast Zhejiang Province. He received his doctorate in physics and mathematics from Moscow State University in 1959 and is a former vice president of Fudan University and a former president of the University of Science and Technology of China.
He was honored for his "important contributions" to differential geometry, partial differential equations and mathematical physics, three sub-disciplines of modern mathematics, according to a statement from the awards organizing committee.
His pioneering research on partial differential equations contributed to solving mathematical problems in the field of supersonic aerodynamics and provided important methodology for later study of the discipline, said the statement.
Sun Jiadong was born in 1929 in Fuxian of northeast Liaoning Province. He graduated from Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy in the Soviet Union in 1958. He played a leading role in the design of the first Chinese satellite Dong Fanghong I launched in 1970, the first recoverable remote-sensing satellite in 1975, the first geostationary communication satellite in 1984 and China's lunar exploration program.
Sun was recognized for his 50-year contribution to China's space industry and continuing service on the frontline of China's space technology.
The two scientists were each awarded 5 million yuan (732,300 U.S. dollars). President Hu Jintao presented them with the certificates at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.
Premier Wen Jiabao said in a speech at the ceremony that scientific innovation was an important means to cope with the global economic downturn and served as an impetus to realize lasting economic prosperity.
Wen called for greater efforts to embrace global scientific and technological development and build China into an innovation-driven economy.
Independent innovation should always play a key part in economic restructuring and transformation of the country's development pattern, he said.
Efforts should be made to make scientific breakthroughs on issues related to people's living standards and national security and competitive power.
Wen called for intensified efforts to develop new emerging industries such as new energy resources, information and the Internet as well as life sciences.
He also underlined the importance of training scientific talents to provide support for the country's modernization drive.
Vice Premier Li Keqiang chaired the ceremony, which was also attended by Li Changchun and Xi Jinping, members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.
China's lunar exploration program and two other scientific programs received a State Special Award for Scientific and Technological Progress.
The editing and research for the Flora of China won the first prize in the State Natural Science Award.
Twenty seven projects received second prizes in State Natural Science Award.