LU conferred honorary doctoral degrees upon four distinguished individuals on 9 December 2021 in recognition of outstanding achievements in their respective professions and valuable contributions to the well-being of society.
Photo (from left): LU Council Treasurer Katherine Cheung Marn-kay, LU Council Chairman Andrew Yao Cho-fai, Dr Norman Chan Tak-lam, Dr Sylvia Chang Ai-chia, LU President Leonard K Cheng and LU Vice-President Joshua Mok Ka-ho.
They were Dr Norman Chan Tak-lam, a prominent financial leader who received a Doctor of Business Administration, honoris causa; Dr Sylvia Chang Ai-chia, an esteemed film director who received a Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa; Prof Deane E. Neubauer, a prolific political science scholar who received a Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa (in absentia); and Prof Zhong Nanshan, a world-renowned respiratory disease expert who received a Doctor of Science, honoris causa (in absentia).
Dr Norman Chan expressed his gratitude to the University on behalf of all Honorary Doctorates. He commended the great contributions to society that Lingnan and other universities are making and encouraged them to expand and promote courses or programmes on critical thinking for students. “I cannot think of any other period in which universities have played a more crucial role in helping to develop critical thinking in students,” he said. “Many social media platforms will feed you with videos that you want to see and messages you want to hear…. Biases can easily be solidified and amplified amongst so-called ‘like-minded’ groups. This echo chamber phenomenon and its divisive and damaging effects on the society were vividly demonstrated during the highly turbulent period in Hong Kong in the second half of 2019, a problem which has, to a large extent, continued up till now.”
He suggested people to make a habit to fact check, and apply critical thinking. “Fact checking is time-consuming and tiresome, but it is something that can be done by anyone who chooses. At the same time, critical thinking is a mindset rather than rocket science, there are certain skills and techniques that can be taught to help a person to apply their mind and be conducive to critical thinking,” added Mr Chan.