Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Most Important Invitation Letter

On April 9th, 1980, I received the most important Invitation letter from the Chair of the Chemistry Department of Beijing Normal University, which is reprinted below. The other letters posted in my last blog were just formal letters to show that the important decision had been made by the Department of Chemistry to invite me to be the main speaker for the UN sponsored program to provide appropriate specialty experts for the development of modern science in China. Hu Tze-bing (胡志斌), who was the Department Chair at the time, and the head of the Physical Chemistry Section (邓希贤)and a few others made the selection and asked me to visit the Department as a visiting scholar. It was a very important event for them. And I am sure that it was a very difficult and time-consuming process for them to make that selection. Clearly it was an important decision for me as well. While my Father did not want me to make this trip, as he was still leery about the communist world and felt that they could not be trusted,  I was determined to accept the invitation. This turned out to be a crucial decision, which had consequences, not only for me, but also for my family. It changed my life in many ways, as it not only affected my career, but also caused me to re-examine my identification as a Chinese person.

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