[2018 Persons of Distinguished Service to Science and Technology/Photo credit: Ministry of Science and ICT]
The Ministry of Science and ICT established the ‘Persons of Distinguished Service’ program to elect scientists and engineers with outstanding achievements as persons of distinguished service, thus honoring their accomplishments and creating an atmosphere where they are respected. In 2017, 32 people were the first to be honored. Later on, 16 figures were added, making a total of 48.
167 experts participated in the three-step evaluation procedure for the ‘2018 Persons of Distinguished Service to Science and Technology’. For this year, the convergence field was added to the three fields of natural sciences, biology, and engineering. With a public and open inspection of the final candidates, the selection process was transparently managed.
In the natural sciences field, selected scientists included POSTECH Emeritus Professor Kyung Hwan Kwun, a world-renowned mathematician who raised the name of Korea’s study of mathematics, the late professor Jeong-Heum Kim of Korea University, a pioneer in physics who tried to make science more accessible to the public, the late professor Ho-Gil Kim, past president of POSTECH and Korea’s first physicist in the accelerator field, the late emeritus professor Sang-Chul Shim of KAIST, an organic photochemist who improved Korea’s international status, and the late SNU Emeritus Professor Kyung Loh Yu, who led Korea’s modern astronomy and earth sciences education.
In biology, Yonsei University Emeritus Professor Mo-Im Kim, the 36th Minister of the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the first Ph.D. nurse, SNU Emeritus Professor Sang Sup Lee, who established the foundation for Korea’s study in biochemistry, the late Young-sup Huh, past CEO of Green Cross Corporation who founded the Green Cross and transformed it into a pharmaceutical company, and SNU Emeritus Professor Changui Hong, a luminary of pediatric cardiology who contributed to pediatric healthcare were chosen.
In engineering science, selected figures included the late Doctor Dawon Kahng, the first director of NEC AMERICA and a worldly famous scholar in the semiconductor field who represents Korea, emeritus professor Wook Hyun Kwon of SNU, who was the first to clarify the workings of the ‘receding horizon control’ theory, the late director of POSCO Research Institute of Industrial Science and Technology who raised POSCO to the world’s best in the steel industry, the late Jong-Kee Yeo, past director of LG Chemistry Research Park who elevated the competitiveness of the chemical industry to top tier, and the late Director Pil-soon Han, past director of Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, with whose help Korea’s nuclear reactor technology could stand on its own feet.
In the convergent science field, the late Jong-wook Lee, the director-general of the World Health Organization who significantly lowered the rate of poliomyelitis by developing a vaccine, and Doctor Kee-ryo Chang, emeritus director of Kosin University Gospel Hospital, who was praised as ‘Korea’s Schweitzer’ for his medical work he conducted out of philanthropy were nominated.
The government honors these scientists and engineers through invitations to major science and technology ceremonies, preferential treatment in immigration inspection, publications of their names in the merit catalog, installation and management of a hall of fame, issuing of stamps in their names, and by asking for advice in national policies related to science and technology. It will also support book publications, public lectures and academic exchanges for the people nominated as well as issue certification notes for the persons of distinguished service to science and ICT.
Translated by: Jee Hyun Lee, English Editor of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, email@example.com