Major projects include the construction of the Ieo-do Comprehensive Ocean Science Base and the development of the Smart Nuclear Reactor
Provided supportive policies for science and technology for the development of Korean science and technology
(Late) Kim Si-jung
Professor of the Dept. of Chemistry at the Korean Univ (1932~2017)
- Academic background
B.S. at the Dept. of Chemistry of Seoul National University
M.S. at the Dept. of Chemistry of the Graduate School of Seoul National University
Ph.D. at the Dept. of Chemistry of Korea University
- Professional career
Professor, Dean, President of Korea University
14th Minister of Science and Technology
Chairman of the Korea Association of Science and Technology Organizations
Order of Civil Merit, Pomegranate Medal
Science Award, Korea Science and Technology Award
Order of Service Merit, Blue Stripes
Korean Academy of Science and Technology Award
Minister of Science and Technology who has offered strong support for the construction of the Ieo-do Comprehensive Ocean Science Base
Minister Si-Jung Kim is a science administrator who established and proceeded with a long-term research plan for the advancement of Korean science and technology from the macro-level viewpoint.
He prepared the basis for Korea to advance into a science and technology power country by establishing a long-term research plan as the Minister of Science and Technology. As the president of the Korea Association of Science and Technology Organizations, he also contributed to improving the environments of the science and technology area. Since 1960, he has served as a professor of the Dept. of Chemistry at Korea University and is devoted to the research and education in the area of inorganic chemistry. Taking up the positions of Vice President of Korea University, Chairman of the Korea Association of Science and Technology Organizations, Acting Chairman of the same association, and President of the Korea Chemistry Society, he became familiar with the national policies in science. In 1993, he became the Minister of Science and Technology and established the national long-term plans of constructing the Ieo-do Comprehensive Ocean Science Base and developing the Smart Nuclear Reactor. In 2002, he established the ‘Science and Technology Person Charter’ to prepare the ethical basis for the area of science and technology for the first time in Korea.
The first long-term research plan enforced by him during his term as minister was the construction of the Ieo-do Comprehensive Ocean Science Base. He admitted the proposal of the Korea Ocean Institute to establish a small weather observation facility on Ieo-do, which is an under-water rocky area to the south of Jeju-do. After reviewing the feasibility study on the facility, he made a new plan. That is, he decided to build a ‘science base’ equipped with a real-time observation system for the ocean and weather, rather than to establish an observation facility only. Confirming that there is no international law issue to build a science base on a rock, he himself requested consent from the Chinese and Japanese governments and secured government budget and corporate support. Through a variety of difficulties, they managed to begin the construction in 1995, when he was retired from the ministry already, and he continued to visit the Minister of Science and Technology and the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries to stress the importance of the construction of the science base for securing territory and resources as well. The science base was completed in 2003, 10 years after the establishment of the plan. And, as he foresaw, Ieo-do was utilized as a favorable indicator for Korea for securing territory during the territorial issue with China in 2013.
A strategist in science and technology who initiated the development of the Smart Nuclear Reactor for the first time in the world
Another long-term plan he proceeded with was the development project of the Smart Nuclear Reactor. A smart nuclear reactor is a small to medium-sized nuclear reactor that requires less construction expenses than a nuclear plant and has less power generation capacity. It is suitable for a country which does not need a large-sized nuclear power plant, as they have a small electricity network or a big area with a distributed population which may need a large amount of money to prepare the electricity network. He visited China and heard that a large nuclear power plant was not economical for China and determined that a small or medium-sized nuclear reactor, if developed, would be profitable for Korea as an exporter of nuclear reactors. He dispatched personnel of the Korea Atomic Energy Institute to Russia and ordered them to secure and develop basic materials on closed-type small nuclear reactors that are used as energy sources for nuclear submarines. Then, in 2012, after 18 years, Korea acquired the ‘Standard Design Approval’ on small reactors for the first time in the world, and has been exporting Smart Nuclear Reactors since 2015.
A leader of the science and technology area who established the “Science and Technology Person Charter” to cultivate the ethical recognition of science and technology persons
Retiring from the Ministry of Science and Technology, he became the chairman of the Korea Association of Science and Technology Organizations and made efforts to improve the benefits for science and technology persons and generate support for science and technology. In 2004, he established the ‘Science and Technology Person Charter’ to encourage the ethical recognition of science and technology persons and utilize the standard of research ethics. Also, to build a close network with overseas science and technology persons, he prepared the exchange basis of science and technology among Koreans. He also organized local associations of science and technology organizations to support regional persons in science and technology. In addition, he gained the support for the society which edits SCI-level papers for the first time, for the internationalization of Korean societies.
Professor Kim was a future-oriented science policy designer who proposed the development direction of Korean science and technology one step earlier than other ministers during his short period as a minister. The long-term plans designed by him are still functioning as a source of power, leading Korean science and technology toward the level of advanced countries