Nobel Prize winner Tu Youyou: a true role model

Nobel Prize winner Tu Youyou: a true role model


Tu Youyou, Nobel laureate.
Photo: AFP

Three scientists won the 2015 Nobel Prize for medicine for their amazing achievements in treating malaria and roundworm. Their discoveries have helped reduce the number of deaths from the two diseases.

Among the three winners, I admire Tu Youyou the most. She is the first Chinese woman to win a Nobel prize. She won half of the science award for her work on an anti-malarial drug.

Through her research, Tu has shown the value of traditional Chinese medicine and how it can be used to treat many illnesses.

Tu, 84, has been chief professor at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing since 2000. She is a very humble person.

She said the award was an honour for all the country's scientists because "they did decades of research together".

I think we can all learn from her wonderful attitude.

There are more important things than winning awards or making money.

If we all work together, we can make the world a better place.

Charmaine Wong Shee-man, Christian Alliance S. C. Chan Memorial College

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Charmaine. I agree that Tu Youyou is very inspiring, and her work will no doubt help millions of people.

It's also true that if we work together, we can make the world a better place. The problem is that human nature makes people greedy.

A lot of people who have the potential to do good work are tempted by money or other offers. They include scientists who, instead of working hard to find a cure for disease, are hired by companies who pay them to develop cosmetics or other less useful products.

But the reason people want to be rich is because it's seen as a sign of success. So the first obstacle is to change society's definition of success. That change can start with us. Rather than celebrating people for their fortune, we should celebrate true heroes, like Tu.

Instead of doing jobs for the money, we should look to do work that makes a difference. Only when we are helping others are we truly successful.

Lucy Christie, sub-editor

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
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