2023.07.08 Dr. Chang Ying-Chih, Chairwoman of the Chang Chau-Ting Memorial Foundation, Researcher of the Genomics Research Centre of Academia Sinica Original link

“People should live for their ideal achievements. Even if their ideals slowly die down, they should strive to achieve them.” Chang Chau-Ting

My father, Mr. Chang Chau-Ting, was a well-respected scholar and an educator who was passionate about his country. 30 years have passed since his sudden death. Today is his birthday, and it is also the day the Chang Chau Ting Memorial Foundation (CCTMF) organises the Marie Curie Science Camp. As his daughter, who is also committed to scientific research, I have always admired and missed him.

In the difficult environment of World War II, my father grew up in a poor family in Pingtung. When he was in junior high school, he decided to become a scientist. He worked part-time to enter National Taiwan University’s Department of Chemistry and received a master’s degree from the Institute of Atomic Science at National Tsinghua University. After further studies in Japan and Germany, he returned to China and worked at Tsinghua University and National Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology. His research in the fields of radiochemistry and inorganic chemistry included both academic and practical work. His research was fundamental for the development of nuclear medicine, energy supply, and the electronics industry in Taiwan.

When my father was a student, he met academician Yuan-Tseh Lee, and they became lifelong friends. In the 1950s, when the development of ideas and speech was very restricted, they set the high-reaching goal of “saving the nation through science”, and hoped to use scientific education to enhance people’s intelligence and thereby transform society.

In order to take root and promote science education, my father took over the chairmanship of the Taipei Science Publishing Foundation in 1973, shortly after the publication of Science Monthly, carrying responsibility for publishing this earliest popular science magazine in Taiwan. He tried to promote it, raise funds, and even offer my mother’s house as an office free of charge to save on rent. In an era when there was no internet, information circulation was difficult, and extracurricular knowledge was scarce. Science Monthly became a window to the world, shocking and inspiring young students in Taiwan with the latest knowledge from the international scientific community.


Science Monthly was founded in 1970. On the 20th anniversary of its founding in 1990,
Professor Chang Chau-Ting took a group photo with Academician Yuan-Tseh Lee of Academia Sinica. Picture/Provided by Chang Chau-Ting Foundation

In the 1980s, when political and social turmoil was intense, my father still held on to the responsibility of caring for his country and society as an intellectual. However, he showed no party favouritism. He made friends with people regardless of party, province, or class, and he also worked as a lawyer. coordination between many different positions. What he did was not out of personal favouritism but out of concern for the land and its people, and his desire for the country’s social progress.

In 1933, my father unfortunately passed away due to a recurrence of asthma. When I learned the news, I was studying at Stanford University in the United States, and my eldest sister and younger brother were also in school. This was undoubtedly a big blow to our family.

Academician Yuan-Tseh Lee, who was overseas at the time, was shocked and regretful and wrote the article “It’s time to go home.” In the article, he expressed his respect for and memory of my father, also mentioning that his father had repeatedly suggested that he return home as soon as possible. He went to Taiwan to work together for science and education in Taiwan, and his father once discussed with him how to greatly improve science education in primary and secondary schools in Taiwan through the operation of the foundation.

Not long after, academician Yuan-Tseh Lee resolutely resigned from his job at the University of California, Berkeley (fulfilling his promise to return to Taiwan to work hard for science education). In Taiwan, he took the initiative to prepare the Zhang Zhaodong Memorial Foundation, allowing the talent training work my father cherished to continue.

The Chang Chau-Ting Memorial Foundation was established in 1994, the year after my father passed away. Over the past 30 years, friends, students, and entrepreneurs who share the same philosophy as my father have contributed money and effort to promote various scientific education activities. The key activity organised by the foundation in recent years is the “Marie Curie Science Camp” (formerly Mrs. Curie High School Chemistry Camp). Academician Yuan-Tseh Lee initiated the camp in 2011, where outstanding achievements from academic and business circles are invited each year to explain the development of science and technology to high school students who are eager for knowledge.

Another feature of the camp is the carefully designed scientific experiment courses to enhance students’ practical experience. After joining the camp, many students leave having gained a broader perspective and further enthusiasm for learning science.

In addition to scientific and educational activities, the foundation holds an annual ” Chang Chau-Ting Memorial Concert” and invites musicians to perform. The origin is that my father loved classical music and art songs very much. During his lifetime, he often said, “When I pass away, you must let me listen to Beethoven’s “Eroica Symphony.” The concert allowed my father’s relatives and friends, as well as people who crossed his path with similar aspirations, to gather together to not only listen to the wonderful performance but also commemorate my father’s hard work and dedication to Taiwan.

This year’s commemorative concert, “Dedication and Remembrance,” will be held on September 17th, 2023, at 2:30 pm at the Hsinchu High School Performing Arts Hall. Teacher Lin Xiuyan will assist in the planning and invite baritone Chen Xinhao, pianist Zhang Shengjie, and the Xianmu String Quartet, allowing the public to listen to charity performances for free. Readers are welcome to come and listen.

The foundation is about to celebrate its 30th anniversary since its establishment. With the encouragement of these elders who share the same goals as my father, I have taken over the position of chairman of the foundation and will continue to fulfil my father’s wish. I remember that when I was in school, my father often travelled between Hsinchu, Longtan, and Taipei for the projects of National Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology and the preparations for Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences. The opportunities for me to catch up with him were often on Monday mornings, on the bus from Hsinchu to Taipei.

I once asked my father why he chose science as his career. My father responded that what he actually cared about the most was the land and people of Taiwan, so he wanted to find a good way to directly help Taiwan improve the next generation through science and education. Although my father had great opportunities to expand his academic achievements internationally, he cared deeply about his hometown and devoted himself selflessly to scientific education in Taiwan. This pushes me to not only pursue my own scientific research achievements and dreams but also be willing to take on and lead the work of the foundation and do my part for the foundation’s public welfare activities.

My father once told me that people should live for their ideals. He also predicted that ideals would wear out, but he tried his best. When I encounter setbacks in scientific research, I often think of my father’s spirit of moving forward courageously when he sees the goal clearly, which enables me to continue to face various challenges on the road to scientific research.

Nowadays, scientific research and technology are developing at a rapid pace. Information that only a few people in the academic ivory tower had access to 30 years ago, can now be easily searched using the internet. As long as you are willing, you can learn these scientific methods and logic.

It is hoped that young students will be rooted in the most basic scientific knowledge from an early age and grasp the truth of adapting to ever-changing conditions. Don’t be afraid that you won’t be able to succeed. As long as you are willing to accept the challenge, you will get the idea sooner or later. There are abundant resources now. As long as you have interest and perseverance, you will most certainly be able to create your own path.