Name: Mr. Lu DiBo
Chinese zodiac sign: Monkey
Education: A bachelor’s degree in astronomy and a master’s degree in telecommunication engineering.
Profession: Researcher at the Beijing Ancient Observatory
When you are at home, what is your favorite activity? What do you enjoy the most?
Let me answer the last part of the question. I like travelling, but my purpose of travelling is different from many other people. While many people enjoy natural landscape sceneries, I prefer sceneries concerning human beings and cultures, such as city landscapes. Maybe it’s because of my work which involves history studies. Every city enjoys a unique history and culture, which attracts me more than natural landscapes. When walking in the street of a city, I can feel the atmosphere of the local culture. It’s quite a meaningful thing for me.
Name three of your daily routine activities:
My work focuses on the study of astronomical history. Every day I do research, write papers and do other academic work on the computer. I’m also responsible for the education and popularization of astronomical science, including the work of the International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO). Last year, I was the captain of China’s IAO team. Sometimes, I need to translate for the foreign affairs department and receive foreign guests. I’m also in charge of some preparation work for astronomical exhibitions.
What is your favorite food?
Tiramisu and Cantonese meat porridge.
How much money does your family spend on food per day?
About 4,000 to 5,000 RMB per month.
Where is your hometown? (if not Beijing: do you miss your hometown? if so, what do you miss most?)
The most precious childhood memory is my entrance exam for high school. It was a class for exceptionally gifted children. I took the examination when I was in the fourth grade of primary school. After several rounds of selection and competition, I was admitted into the class. It’s a significant turning point in my life. The special class compressed the length of lessons, so I managed to enter university at 14 or 15 years old. Apart from Chinese and math, the examination for this class also included 4 logical tests. There were various exam papers for testing one’s logic. Once, we were brought to an institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. We were asked to make a test while many electrical wires were attached to our heads so that the scientists could observe our brain activity.
What are the three most important things in life for you?
The first thing is that I got admitted to the class of exceptionally gifted children. My life changed a lot after that. It had both advantages and disadvantages for me. When I entered the university, I was much younger than other students. The age was a kind of advantage, but the advantage was temporary and didn’t last forever.
Getting married was another big event in my life as it meant that I could start establishing my own family. The last one is my work in the ancient observatory, because it also changed my life.
In my opinion, half of a person’s life philosophy comes from what one learns, while the other half is from one’s parents (the influence of the family). I think it’s the typical value formation of Chinese, quite different from that of Westerners. Generally speaking, I’m more traditional than my peers. My value system resembles that of my father’s generation. Therefore, I think family is most important in my life. I believe in the old Chinese saying: a person should first train and cultivate himself before organizing his family; after organizing a good family, he can devote his talent and energy to managing state affairs and ruling the country; and finally he can dedicate himself to contribute to a peaceful world.
Would you say you are a) happy b) somewhat happy c) somewhat unhappy d) unhappy
Well, I think my life is happy. It’s not a general conception of happiness. My life is good, but not “magnificent”.
What do you expect will the future bring for you?
I believe that the future has many opportunities in store for me. Perhaps, one of them will change my whole life. Several years later, I might study and work abroad in a totally different field. Or, when I get 50, I might have more power in terms of money and abilities. Then, I’ll establish an institute and recruit scientists to do research.
What is your religion?
All the beliefs and religions make sense in some way. That’s why people believe in them. As for me, I hope one day I can create an interpretation of these religions by integrating many different beliefs. However, this will be very hard to do.
Video of the 360 degree panoramic photo
(click full screen icon for best view)
the below video is on Vimeo; banned in China