The forum coincided with a ceremony naming Rosatom’s Mayak scientific and education academy in the central Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod after outstanding physicist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov.
The forum was opened by the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Sergeyev. In his welcoming remarks, he referred to Sakharov’s article “The World in 50 years” published in a 1973 anniversary edition of Saturday Review.
“Scientific and technical progress brings no happiness if it is not enhanced by deep changes in the social, moral and cultural life of humankind,” Sergeyev quoted from the celebrated article in inviting forum participants to take part in the discussion.
Alongside Chung in one of the discussions was Oxford University professor Marcus Du Sautoy and Ruslan Yunusov, head of the National Quantum laboratory and head of Rosatom’s project office for quantum technologies.
In his address, Chung spoke of the contradictions between the drive for short-term benefit ingrained in the human instinct and long-term goals without which it is impossible to take on global challenges, be they climate change or the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chung’s belief was that this contradiction can be overcome by enhancing free market ideas with the principles of sustainable development and the effects of far-reaching innovations like hydrogen or small modular reactors.
“It is a big question whether these technologies can be effective or spread evenly the world over,” he said. “Innovations are vital, but not sufficient in the fight against climate change. We need to improve the way the free market is functioning towards a sustainable market in order to maximise the positive impact of scientific research for peace and development.”