Teaching and Research
A Pair of Trail-blazing Hong Kongers for the IAS Podium
Prof Ching W Tang
Ms Marjorie Yang

The IAS has invited many a world-leading scholar or scientist in the past, mostly foreign-born. This year it extended its invitation to two outstanding leaders who are Hong Kongers to the roots of their hair.

The first is Prof Ching W Tang, an IAS Visiting Member. Dubbed the Father of OLED, he is the son of a tradition-bound villager from Yuen Long. His core values are still traditional Chinese, but scientifically, he thrives by breaking with tradition.

His name is forever associated with OLED or Organic Light Emitting Diodes which is replacing LCD or Liquid Crystal Display, because it possesses a number of insurmountable advantages such as being foldable display, paper-thin, lighter in weight, self-luminous, power-efficient with a better definition from any viewing angle. OLED is taking the industrial world by storm, being widely used in a vast array of display applications such as mobile phones, digital cameras and big-screen televisions. What he shared with the audience at this Distinguished Lecture is nothing less than bleeding edge science and technology.

Ironically, Prof Tang stumbled on the tiny molecule that emits light by accident while doing research on solar power. Now things have come full circle, with his return to the study of organic solar cells. The scientific world has great expectations for this first Chinese scientist to win the Wolf Prize, which is second only to the Nobel Prize in prestige. In fact, of every three scientists who win the Wolf Prize in physics and chemistry, one has gone on to win the Nobel Prize.

Ms Marjorie Yang, is this year’s UC RUSAL President’s Forum honored invitee who spoke on “Making a Difference, a Stitch at a Time” in which she shared her insights and lessons learned at the helm of the Esquel Group as its chairman. Ms Yang is not only a remarkable leader because she was voted one of Fortune’s Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. She is remarkable because she has been able to turn her garment business, a traditional industry into a catalyst for societal change. In doing so, she has used technology, modern management and non-traditional business philosophies to improve the bottom line of her company and unleash the potential of her employees. In the process, she has shown us a way of being a good global citizen who can make a difference to the world we live in.

The second half of the Forum was her dialogue with the President, Prof Tony F Chan, in which she spelled out her faith in the power of education in transforming society. She encourages her employees to continue with their education. She is an employer who believes in empowering her employees. Here is a leader who does more than talk the talk.