You Make the World Different -- Interview with Prof. Sonia Antoranz from University of Oxford

Fearless Communication and Collision Sparkle Wisdom

The keynote speaker of the course The Future of Nanotechnology and biology & Medicine -- Prof. Sonia Antoranz, tenured associate professor in theUniversityofOxford, is lecturing with stentorophonic voice, vivid expression and passion. She carefully observed the expression of the students while teaching, so as to adjust pace to make sure the students can overcome language barrier. When elaborating the deformation mechanism of internal cells under muscular activity, Prof. Antoranz kept stretching, tightening and twisting her arms. Those exaggerated actions plus funny description made students laugh from time to time. To facilitate the understanding, she even drew structural models of organ and tissue on the blackboard, replacing the small words on PPT.

Regardless of only two lectures till now, Prof. Antoranz was “surprised” at the performance of SCU students. Although their expressions were not so accurate, the viewpoints of some groups were quite novel. In subsequent lectures, Prof. Antoranz will continuously bring forward with new topics and upgraded brainstorm, to push students think deeper.

When asked about whether the language barrier bothered her, she laughed, noting it was not the most important, the students here were striving to communicate with her, and she loved them very much. "In my opinion, team exchange is necessary. The idea of one person is quite limited, while in a team, the idea exchange and collision can give birth a new one and cultivate our ability of innovative thinking. Only by participating in communication, can you really think about it. Communication participated by multiple persons will definitely lead to collision of multiple ideas, and such confluence of ideas will guide us to think. Just likeNewton, Einstein, they didn't work alone, they also had friends, and their viewpoints also became increasingly mature in the process of exchange." The rest depends upon individual effort, "we shall work hard".

During discussion, Prof. Antoranz wandered among various teams, students would raise questions to her from time to time. Though without fluent oral language, their wordings were prudent and their facial expressions were serious. The lanky professor Antoranz would listen to them carefully and nodded now and then. And she would usually conclude with a praise "quite good" after answering the question.

Different culture and language is always the excuse used by us to avoid speaking to foreigners, while these persons from different countries, in different skin colors came to SCU all the way across continents and oceans, as they believe that the eternal truth is their paramount pursuit.

Communicate in An International Context and Shine on the World Stage

In Prof. Antoranz's eyes, the University Immersion Program of SCU is a "pioneering undertaking". She has been studied inChina, so she insisted to speak in Chinese: "I love the program, it's really interesting and special, and I can't find it in any other countries."

During this "University Immersion Program" attracting many well-known international universities, the elites from various fields disseminate international cultures in SCU with various dialects of English.

When Prof. Antoranz learned about that the school motto of SCU is "the sea admits hundreds of rivers for its capacity to hold", she enjoys it. "SichuanUniversityis very open indeed. As far as I know, there is no other university in the world that will input so much every year to enrich their students' knowledge and experience, it is really rare. Through this Program, we can see that there are plenty of excellent students with great potential inChengdu."

When communicating with Prof. Antoranz, many students expressed their desire to study in theUniversityofOxfordin the future. And Prof. Antoranz said: "Don’t worry so much about the big name of the universities." Her study experience around the world indicates that "experience is especially important, so does communication with different people and different cultures." And the appeal of elite universities rests upon not only their excellent faculty and academic resources, but also communication with international cultures, favorable for inspiring ability of thinking and creating. She said: In my opinion, you, as the new-generation of Chinese, are promising; you need to experience more, to study more and travel more, to have more communication with the world; mutual exchange and understanding is to the benefit of world peace and settlement of various issues; and I believe the new generation inChinawill make the world different.