[photopress:mba_walter_kohn_1.jpg,full,alignright]This all sounds a bit odd. Six universities in Beijing, including Tsinghua University, Beihang University (formerly Beijing Institute of Aeronautics) and Beijing Institute of Technology have invited 10 Nobel Prize winners to be their honorary professors during the Nobel Laureates Beijing Forum 2007.
Walter Kohn, the Nobel Chemistry Prize winner, accepted the offer of Zhao Ping, vice president of Beijing Institute of Technology on September 12. Afterwards, Zhao pinned a school badge of Beijing Institute of Technology to Kohn’s chest.
Zhao Ping said, ‘World-class scholars will help to promote sharing of knowledge as well as to encourage our students.’
It does seem a trifle misleading for everyone concerned. There is no suggestion that these Nobel prize winners are going to contribute to the universities in any meaningful way. It looks, from the outside, as if the universities are climbing on the Nobel bandwagon and it looks a trifle unbecoming.