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HKU confers Honorary Degrees upon six outstanding individuals at the 188th Congregation

March 17, 2013

From left: HKU Pro-Chancellor Dr David Li Kwok Po, Professor Alec John JEFFREYS, Dr Rocco YIM Sen Kee, Professor Fan Jinshi, Professor Mai Yiu-wing, Professor WANG Shenghong, HKU Council Chairman Dr Leong Che-hung and HKU Vice-Chancellor Professor Lap-Chee Tsui
From left: HKU Pro-Chancellor Dr David LI Kwok Po; Professor Alec John JEFFREYS, Doctor of Science honoris causa; Dr Rocco YIM Sen Kee and Professor FAN Jinshi, Doctors of Social Sciences honoris causa; Professor MAI Yiu-wing, Doctor of Science honoris causa; Professor WANG Shenghong, Doctor of Social Sciences honoris causa; HKU Council Chairman Dr LEONG Che Hung and HKU Vice-Chancellor Professor Lap-Chee TSUI

The Pro-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) Dr the Honourable David Li Kwok Po conferred honorary degrees upon six outstanding individuals at the University’s 188th Congregation on March 14.

The honorary degree recipients are:

Doctor of Laws honoris causa
Patrick YU Shuk Siu (in absentia)

Doctor of Science honoris causa
MAI Yiu Wing

Doctor of Social Sciences honoris causa
FAN Jinshi
WANG Shenghong
Rocco YIM Sen Kee

Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys delivered the acceptance speech on behalf of the Honorary Graduates. A distinguished geneticist and internationally respected pioneer in DNA fingerprinting, Sir Alec said the honour was a recognition of the work of him and his team.

“I am delighted to accept this honorary degree not so much for myself but for all my colleagues who helped turn a crazy dream of DNA-based identification into a technology that has now spread to every corner of the world and directly touched the lives of tens of millions of people.” He said.

Sir Alec recalled that when he first started his DNA research in the early 1980s, it was entirely curiosity-driven and he was asking basic questions about the nature of DNA variation with the vague expectation that it might deliver something of practical use in medicine. The subsequent development of DNA fingerprinting has been amazing and its impact on the various aspects of life has been deep and widespread.

“Professor Mai Yiu Wing’s work on materials science is outstanding, and it may be of some interest that DNA has now entered even this field, particularly as a material for constructing elaborate nano-structures and nano-devices.

“Professor Fan Jinshi’s archaeological work is fascinating, and needless to say, DNA now plays an integral part in this field in terms of analysing ancient remains. Professor Wang Shenghong has made major contributions to electronics, including radio telescopes, which I hope will fulfill one of my great dreams, namely the eventual discovery of life beyond Earth.” He added.

Meanwhile, in a ceremony held in his home, Mr Patrick Yu Shuk Siu was formally presented with his Honorary Degree by Pro-Chancellor Dr David Li Kwok Po and Vice-Chancellor Professor Lap-Chee Tsui on March 17 (Sunday).

Honorary Degrees are awarded to individuals in recognition of their distinguished service and commitment to the University, the community, and to academia. They are also conferred to those who have made valuable intellectual, social and cultural contributions to society and the world.