The Review 2004

he French philosopher Henri Bergson once described evolution as a creative process, in which beings are compel led to develop new strategies and abilities to improve their lot. This definition applies equally to the task of research. Researchers are continually engaged in a process of discovery and explanation that, ultimately, benefits society. However, in order to succeed they require a stimulating and supportive environment in which to pursue their work. The University has devoted great effort to providing such a place for its scholars. People are at the heart of any research programme and we have given priority to attracting talented researchers who wi l l foster creative approaches, produce innovations and inspire others to do the same. Our academic and research staff have the highest number of refereed publications including esteemed journals such as The Lancet , in Hong Kong. Many have produced internationally- recognised work and been honoured for their efforts. In 2003-04 alone, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, was nominated to the US Academy of Scientists, Professor Lee Chack Fan was elected Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Professor Vivian Yam was awarded a Centenary Lectureship by the Royal Society of Chemistry and Professor Yuen Kwok Yung received Hong Kong’s Silver Bauhinia Award. The opportunity to work with such high achievers, in a well-placed and well-equipped institution, is a key factor in attracting young talent to the University. Young people bring energy and fresh outlooks, thus feeding the creative process. In 2003-04, applicants for research postgraduate (RPG) places far outnumbered availability, by 10 to one. The applications came from all over the world and half were first-class honours degree holders (or T H E R E V I E W 2 0 0 4 15 Innovation and Di scovery I nnovation and D iscovery T