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A science lunar new year celebration

With the lecture 'China and a complicated world', a lucky draw, and of course lots of food and drinks, the Faculty of Science celebrated the year of the dog. An international mix of staff and students took part in this third local edition of the lunar new year celebration.

The Leiden Science community has 282 Chinese members, who are therefore the biggest international community of the faculty: 132 students, 132 PhD candidates and 18 researchers. But it was an international mix of science students and staff members that came together in the Gorlaeus Building Atrium on the afternoon of 14 February. According to the traditional Chinese calendar a new lunar new year was coming up, which was reason for a celebration.

New tradition

Vice-dean Han de Winde kicked off the meeting, organised by the Leiden Science China Community. Over the past three years, he said, the lunar new year celebaration has become an event that promotes the interchange between different cultures and ideas within the Faculty of Science. But also guests from other faculties and outside Leiden University joined that afternoon.

No essential oriental soul

For a room chock-full of listeners, Chinese law and governance researcher Rogier Creemers discussed 'China and a Complicated World'. Old, fixed notions about a mysterious, yet quintessentially oriental soul are not useful in trying to understand modern day China, he argued. After Creemers' lecture, the organisers hosted a lucky draw performed by several attendants.

Calligraphy and tea

After the formal part of the meeting, the Confucius Institute Leiden University had experts demonstrate the calligraphy and tea ceremony. Food and drinks were provided, and for those interested to explore China in depth, the international office had a desk to introduce summer schools and scholarships provided by Chinese partner universities.

Check out more photos of the event on Facebook.

Quick facts about the Faculty of Science and China

  • In 2017, the Faculty of Science received 6 large delegation from China, and send 2 faculty delegations to Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an and Xiamen.
  • Last year, a visiting professorship system was developed with Chinese partners. Currently the faculty hosts 2 visiting professors from China and has more than 5 Leiden scientists appointed as visiting professor/scholars in Chinese universities.
  • Last year 50 students from the Faculty of Science made a study trip to Beijing to learn, exchange ideas and meet new people. Several exchange programmes to allow students from each side to visit with a scholarship are developed. 
  • Examples of research topics in which Leiden scientists cooperate with Chinese colleagues to positively change the world are:
  1. LIACS and East China Normal University are investigating 'Trustworthy computing'
  2. LACDR has joined a project at Xi’an Jiaotong University: 'Bioinformatics analysis in cancer context'
  3. CML is working on a joint publication on the resource footprint of Chinese provinces with Tsinghua University
  4. Leiden Observatory has hold a workshop at Nanjing University about exoplanets, instrumentation, cosmology, high energy and galaxies
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