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  • Bai Chunli (白春礼)
    Gender : Male

Chinese physical chemist, nanoscientist, and politician.

President of the Chinese

Academy of Sciences (CAS),Professor of the CAS Institute of Chemistry.


Bai's father was a primary school teacher who encouraged Bai to read. In 1966, he went to middle school, graduating with a High School Certificate in 1970, at the time of the Cultural Revolution.

In 1974, after the whole soldiers' secret ballot[clarification needed] and the exam, Bai Chunli was recommended to be a student at Peking University graduating in 1978.

In 1981 he received a master's degree of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and in 1985 earned a doctor’s degree.


In January 1978, after graduating from the university, Bai Chunli was assigned to the Chinese Academy of Sciences' applied chemistry department, which was the beginning of his research career in the Chinese Academy of Sciences. From 1985 to 1987, he did postdoctoral research in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. In 1996, he was the Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; in 2011, he took over from Lu Yongxiang as sixth President of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

As of 2014 Bai served as part-time professor at Peking University, Tsinghua University, University of Science and Technology of China, Nankai University, and the China University of Geosciences, and a visiting professor at Liaoning Normal University and Nanjing Audit University.

He also serves as President of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), co-chairman of the China Association for Science and Technology, and President of the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


Bai's research is mainly in the field of nanotechnology and scanning tunneling microscopy, where his work focuses on scanning probe microscopy techniques, and molecular nano-structure, as well as nanotechnology research. He has published a large number of books in both Chinese and English. He was an alternate committee member of the 15th and the 16th CPC Central Committee, and the sixth Vice President of the China Association for Science and Technology.

Chunli Bai at the opening of CAS Nordic in Lund in 2007

  • Academician of The World Academy of Sciences

  • Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

  • Foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences

  • Honorary Fellow of the British Royal Society of Chemistry

  • Foreign academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  • Honorary Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences

  • Corresponding fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (2013)

  • Honorary member of Chinese Association for Science and Technology (2011)

  • Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 2014

  • Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2015

Notable Works|Publications

Bai conducted research in areas such as polymer catalyst structure and property, organic compounds of crystal structure X-ray diffraction, molecular mechanics and conductive polymers of EXAFS, etc. He has been engaged in the study of scanning tunneling microscopy, which has been a significant field in nanotechnology (NT), since the mid-1980s. Many of his works, both in Chinese and English, have been published by Germany Springer Publish Company and Scientific Company and many other publishing houses. Furthermore, he has earned many other awards such as Internationalism which is awarded by the International Chemical Industry association.

Bai Chunli is one of the pioneers in the field of scanning probe microscopy. The laboratory he leads organized much wide-ranging and detailed research. Bai has made many contributions to STM study nationally and internationally. He has created a team which aims to increase cooperation between China and the United States on the issue of regularly using energy sources. Bai has also devoted himself to shortening the scientific distance between China and foreign countries.

He is the editor of China Basic Science magazine, and plays an important role in the political field. In his youth, he was named the best worker around China and one of China's Top Ten Outstanding Young Persons among other distinctions.

His research has been published widely in peer reviewed journals and books.

Main Opnions

On July 13, 2016, Bai Chunli came to the Institute of biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences for investigation, he said that the Institute of Biophysics should take the training of talents as an important output of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, pay attention to the integration of science and education of the National University of science and technology, and according to the requirements of the "13th five year" reform, identify the characteristics of the Institute, develop its strengths and avoid its weaknesses. At the same time, he hoped that the leading group of the Institute would pay attention to the consideration of the sustainable development of the Institute, encourage the normal flow of scientific researchers, and establish a healthy talent system around the sustainable development of the Institute.

On July 25, 2019, the theory learning center group of the Party group of the Chinese Academy of Sciences held the 16th collective learning seminar in 2019 and focused learning seminar on the theme of "Stay true to the founding mission, build on existing achievements". Bai Chunli said that at present, from the national level, China is in the best time of development since modern times, the world is in a great change that hasn't happened in a century, and the two are interwoven and agitated at the same time. From the perspective of scientific and technological innovation, the rapid evolution of the national development stage and the profound evolution of the international pattern put forward unprecedented new requirements and challenges to scientific and technological innovation. For the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the reform of major scientific and technological systems and mechanisms at the national level is accelerating, which will have a historic impact on the future development of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Bai Chunli stressed that the Chinese Academy of Sciences should earnestly implement the spirit of the important instructions and instructions of the central leading comrades, organize special forces, carefully study and actively plan the next reform and development of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The Chinese Academy of sciences must be firm in its confidence in reform, always keep its consciousness of facing up to the problems and courage of cutting edge inward, solve the problems with sincerity, fully implement the major strategic arrangements of the Central Committee and the requirements of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, better carry out the "leading action" plan, and practically promote the new improvement and quality of the work of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the new development period Leap.


His nomination for the Royal Society reads:

“Dr. Chunli Bai is one of the pioneers in the field of nanoscience. In the mid-1980s, he successfully designed and developed China’s first atomic force microscope (AFM), scanning tunneling microscope (STM), low-temperature STM, ultrahigh vacuum-STM, and ballistic electron emission microscope. These led to the earliest technological tools in the country for manipulating single atoms and molecules, and characterizing surfaces and interfaces. He successfully established a methodology for the study of molecular assembly on solid substrate surfaces, such as the imaging of functional molecules on graphite surfaces. His use of alkane-assisted adsorption and assembly in this context is particularly noteworthy. Beyond his outstanding scientific achievements, Dr. Bai’s leadership role in Chinese science includes service as the President of the Chinese Chemical Society (1998-2010), and Vice-President (1996-2004), Executive Vice-President (2004-2011) and President (2011-present) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). In 2012 he became the first Chinese President of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS).

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