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Do Young Noh, President, Institute for Basic Science

Human society has advanced through discovering novel natural phenomena and creating new knowledge. The Institute for Basic Science (IBS) is pursuing these vital activities in Korea. Founded in November 2011, the institute is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Guided by its vision of ‘Making discoveries for humanity and society’, IBS aspires to join the ranks of the world’s leading institutions in basic science. Through making groundbreaking discoveries, we seek to disseminate knowledge that benefits society and humanity.

The four guiding principles of IBS are excellence, autonomy, creativity and openness. We select researchers and evaluate their outcomes based solely on their scientific excellence and creativity. Scientists are assured maximum autonomy in carrying out their research. IBS is always open to scientists with aspirations in basic research.

The core of IBS is its research centres, which are key units of research in each area of basic science. The first nine centres opened in 2012. Now, a decade later, 30 centres are operating the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry, life science, Earth science and various interdisciplinary areas, and they have around 1,800 research personnel (including students). Just this year, IBS established the Korea Virus Research Institute to respond to COVID-19 and to prepare for future pandemics. In line with IBS’s policy of integrating basic science capabilities and resources in Korea, the research centres are located throughout South Korea: nine centres are at IBS Headquarters in Daejeon, 13 campus centres are affiliated with the research-oriented universities KAIST, GIST, UNIST and POSTECH, while nine extramural centres are located in premier universities in Korea, including Seoul National University.

As it enters its second decade, IBS will continue to contribute to humanity by answering the big questions about nature and the Universe.

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