Chinese mineralogists celebrate their discipline, honored in 2022.
On July 16, 2023, over 100 experts and graduate students from more than 30 national universities and research institutes, as well as basic education fields, participated in the “International Year of Mineralogy 2022 – China Special Event” at Peking University.
The International Year of Mineralogy 2022 was initiated by the International Mineralogy Association (IMA), endorsed by UNESCO, and officially launched at the International Mineralogy Congress held in Lyon, France, in July 2022. It is an important part of the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development (IYBSSD). The aims of the event are to encourage the public to explore materials science and its applications to technological innovation and social development, to use the unique charm of natural mineral crystals to attract the younger generation to the field of mineralogy, to clarify the universal laws of Earth materials science and to raise awareness of mineralogy on a global scale.
As a member of the IMA, the Chinese Society of Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry actively organized this “International Year of Mineralogy 2022 – China Special Event”. It was set up by Peking University’s Laboratory of Environmental Mineral Functions and sponsored by numerous Chinese organizations.
The opening ceremony of the conference was presided over by Professor Lu Anhuai, former president of the IMA. He briefly introduced the background to the International Mineralogical Year 2022. He recalled that the event commemorates the 200th anniversary of the death of French mineralogist René Just Haüy, “father of modern crystallography.”
Zhang Lifei, Dean of Peking University’s School of Earth and Space Sciences, welcomed participants, both physically present and online. He expressed his delight at the vigorous development of mineralogy in our country.
Several papers were presented on the following topics:
- Mechanism and effect of the reaction of the excited state of minerals on the excited state of solar radiation at the surface of the Earth and sea, by Lu Anhuai, Peking University;
- Co-evolution of microbes and minerals, and effect on environmental resources, by Dong Hailiang, China Geosciences University (Beijing);
- The mineral origin of Earth’s initial active oxygen, by He Hongping, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences;
- Mineral resources and key metals, by Wang Rucheng, Nanjing University;
- Research into the underlying mechanisms of mineralization, by Li Shengrong of China Geosciences University (Beijing);
- Research into mineral materials based on a dual-carbon target, by Liao Libing of the Geosciences University of China (Beijing);
- Progress in establishing and revising the international mineral classification and nomenclature system, by Dong Faqin, Southwest University of Science and Technology;
- The popularization of mineral science in China still has a long way to go, by Liu Guanghua, Jiangxi Institute of Applied Science and Technology.
New avenues of research
A general discussion, chaired by Lu Xiancai of Nanjing University, addressed the place of mineralogy as the foundation of geology, itself the cornerstone of the entire Earth science system. The diversity and evolution of minerals bear witness to the evolution of the Earth, including the origin of life. Emerging research themes were also discussed: application of mineralogy research in the service of the development of strategic emerging industries, in the service of national resource security and in the service of the “double carbon” strategy; mineralogy to explore new sustainable resources such as strategic metals that are produced naturally or artificially.
The “International Year of Mineralogy 2022 – China Special Event” was unanimously praised by participants. The high-level presentations broadened horizons, and the innovative concepts for high-quality mineralogical research in China, particularly encouraged and inspired young Chinese scientists and technicians to devote themselves to mineralogical research and carry out original academic work with confidence and determination. The event also fully reflects the IMA’s global initiative that “mineralogy is a very active and rapidly developing field that has a huge impact on all aspects of our society.”
This article was translated and adapted from a publication by 9kd.com (July 25, 2023)