Vietnamese Talents
Vietnam bestows top honour to physicist Tran Thanh Van
  • By Ham Chau | | July 08, 2015 09:27 PM

Pioneers in modern science education, Vietnamese-French Professor Tran Thanh Van and his wife, Le Kim Ngoc, have been awarded the Friendship Medal for their contributions to charitable and educational activities in Vietnam.

Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan (middle), Tran Thanh Van (second from the left)
and Le Kim Ngoc (second from the right)

The Friendship Medal is the most prestigious award for foreigners and overseas Vietnamese that Vietnam bestows.

Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan, representatives of many ministries and representatives from Binh Dinh and Thua Thien-Hue provinces attended the ceremony.

Van said that in 1972, when Vietnam was riven by the American War, he and his wife were working on ideas to shelter orphan children and improve local science and technology.

Doan said she admired the couple's talent and hard work, as well as their love for Vietnam. Even though they are passing 80, they work tirelessly in humanitarian pursuits.

Jean Tran Thanh Van was born in Dong Hoi, Quang Binh Province, in 1936 and went to France for university when he was 17. He has received the Legion of Honor from the French Government, and is recognised as an Honorable Academician by the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Vice president give Friendship Medal to Tran Thanh Van and his wife Le Kim Ngoc

Van and Ngoc have been actively helping cultivate science in Vietnam, creating a bridge between local scientists and international counterparts, as well as giving support to young Vietnamese students.

In 1993, he co-founded the "Rencontres du Vietnam" (Meeting Vietnam) conferences which have drawn in hundreds of astronomers and scientists from around the world.

In 2012, the American Institute of Physics awarded Van the John Torrence Tate Medal for International Leadership in Physics in recognition of his role in bringing together physicists, and for his efforts to build a modern scientific community in Vietnam.

Vietnam's scientists and mathematicians, and students, are high in world rankings.

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