A Brief Recollection of the Founding of APCTP
FORMER PRESIDENT OF PEKING UNIVERSITY AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF AAPPS
As an aged person I have a very bad memory, for which I apologize. I will describe only one story. I remember very little about the start of APCTP. At the early preparation stage of establishing APCTP, we were seriously short of money. So we had to seize every possibility of seeking funding in order to establish this new organization. President Kim Dae-jung, soon after his visit to China and Peking University, invited me to meet him at the Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae). Professor C. N. Yang, Y. M. Cho and I were very excited, as we thought this may be a very good opportunity for us to ask the President to provide state support to establish APCTP. After some discussion among the three of us, I carefully prepared a speech to describe the role and the possible contribution of APCTP internationally, by comparing it with ICTP (Trieste). I also stressed that serious financial support was urgently needed in order to establish and operate such a new organization. Professor C. N. Yang, Y. M. Cho also prepared some words for the President. The three of us arrived at the Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae) at the time indicated in the invitation.
Fig.1: Meeting with President Kim Dae-jung (right) and the present author (left) at the Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae).
I was honored to be sitting beside the President (see photo). After some greetings, I gave my presentation as prepared. Professor Yang also added his comments. However, President Kim did not respond to our request during the meeting. Rather he recounted exciting stories from his visit to China. He even thanked me again for my hospitality when he delivered his speech at Peking University, which was an exciting and very successful event. Time went on, but the meeting with President Kim had to stop, since the next guest to meet the President had already been waiting for some time. We had failed to obtain financial support for APCTP. Afterwards, I think we might have achieved our goal if we had written to him before we met him. The above is my only recollection. I don't know whether Professor C. N. Yang would agree with my point of view or not.
Jiaer CHEN was born in Shanghai, China in 1934. He is a Professor of Physics at Peking University. He was President of Peking University (1996-1999), President of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (2000-2003), President of the Chinese Physical Society (1995-2004), President of AAPPS (1998-2002) and Vice President IUPAP (2006-2008). His research field is the Physics of Particle Accelerators.