A hallowed apple tree

Updated: 2015-08-15 03:27

By LI XUEQING in Shanghai(China Daily USA)

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A descendent of the famous apple tree at Woolsthorpe Manor that led Sir Isaac Newton to discover the theory of gravitation now has a home in Shanghai.

The tree arrived in the city from the United Kingdom on March 8 and has been growing well in Chenshan Botanical Garden. The tree is expected to help people understand Newton’s spirit for scientifi c innovation, Yang Fujia told Wenhui Newspaper.

Yang, a nuclear physicist, is the main advocator for bringing in the tree. He had visited Woolsthorpe Manor twice when he was the chancellor of the University of Nottingham and last summer, he and other scientists made the proposal to bring the tree into Shanghai.

Britain’s National Trust, which owns the Woolsthorpe Manor where Newton was born, provided the Shanghai Association of Science and Technology with a cutting of tree that has two certifi - cates — one issued by UK’s National Trust, the other by the State Forestry Bureau of China.

The tree will be moved to the Shanghai Science Hall — well known for being a place of scientific exchanges and education since its founding in 1958 — by the end of this year if it continues to grow well.

Having also arrived in Shanghai is the Newton Fund, also known as the UK-China Joint Research and Innovation Partnership Fund, which was established at the UKChina summit in 2013.

The £200 million fund ($310 million) is part of a fi veyear joint scientifi c research plan by the two countries that will tackle issues such as health, green technology, energy and urbanization.

The Shanghai Association of Science and Technology is bringing the fund’s short-term training program to the city this year to help the participants in international scientific exchanges.

The program will recruit 20 Chinese scientific talents aged under 35 and they will be trained in publishing international journals, giving lectures at international symposiums and how to work in an international team. Teachers of the program will be selected by the British Council.