McDonnell Scholar Blog: Welcome to Beijing!

Agriculture, food and water challenges will be among the topics addressed during the McDonnell International Scholars Academy 7th International Symposium, held October 11-14 in Beijing and co-hosted with Tsinghua University.

As a Chinese native, what I feel most excited about the 7th McDonnell International Scholars Academy Symposium is the fact that it takes place in China.

This symposium focuses on agriculture, food and water; energy and environment; public health and aging. These are all challenges that the whole world is facing, and China is no exception. Having the Symposium in China means connecting local and global intellectuals and institutions, seeing China’s problem as part of the global community’s problems, and vice versa.

I will be thrilled to learn how this symposium addresses the increasing challenges of pollution, aging of the population, food safety and energy crisis in China, and in what ways Chinese scholars, corporations and government, with their experiences and resources, may contribute to the global response to these problems that threaten the human race.

Nan Hu_headshot

Nan Hu, McDonnell Scholar from The Graduate School, Chinese and Comparative Literature (PhD)

Although I am not a Tsinghua University alum nor a Beijing local, I share the pleasure of welcoming my friends, colleagues and professors from my university to my country. It would be worthwhile to take a walk in the hutong areas, visit contemporary art museums in 798 art zone, have a drink in Wukesong, and talk to the students as well as faculty in Tsinghua. Plus, it is this city’s best season of the year. A century ago, a most prestigious writer Lao She wrote “I don’t know what heaven is like; but based on the experience of my life, Beijing’s autumn is heaven.”

I hope your time there offers opportunities to know the complex yet vibrant groups of people in China today, flavor the combination of local and international culture, and enjoy the blue sky, cool breeze and seasonal food in the heaven-like, great city of Beijing.