During the last three months, we had the pleasure to host Dr. Sun Wei & Dr. Xian Guojian, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), at the Agro-Know office, during their research visit in the context of the agINFRA project. As members of the CAAS team, a partner of the agINFRA project, the two researchers had the opportunity to work close to the team supporting the AGRIS network which consists (among others) of Agro-Know colleagues Elena & Nikos Manolis, as well as Fabrizio Celli from UN FAO. Due the fact that I have spent most of this time away from office, in project meetings and Conferences around Europe (as well as a week-long sick leave), I was interested to learn more about Wei and Guojian, so I invited them to share some information about themselves and their current work and interests. Both of them were kind enough to provide me with their responses, so starting with the ladies, you may find a short interview with Dr. Sun Wei right below!
V: Can you please tell us some things about your education and studies?
W: I’m Sun Wei, and come from China. I am an Associate Researcher in Agricultural Information Institute (AII) of CAAS. I completed my Ph.D. in Information Resources Management (with a focus on Library science) at the National Science Library of CAS. Before that, I completed a M.Sc.in information science from Heilongjiang University and a B.Sc. in computer information management from Yantai University.
V: What is your scientific background and your current occupation?
W: Now I’m working in AII of CAAS. The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) is a national, integrative agricultural scientific research organization with responsibility for carrying out both basic and applied research, as well as research into new technologies impacting agriculture. It is dedicated to overcoming a broad range of challenges impacting agricultural development and support of the local rural economy.
CAAS, established in 1957 and headquartered in Beijing, oversees 42 institutes. AII is one of an institute and mainly dedicated to scientific researches about agricultural information analysis, agricultural information technology and agricultural information management, and to making agricultural resource construction and providing agricultural information services. Importantly, AII promotes sustainable agriculture information researches and services within and outside China, extending its reach through information technology exchange and cooperative research agreements with agricultural research institutions/universities domestically and internationally.
V: What are you working on in your institution and what are your research interests?
W: Knowledge Engineering Laboratory is one of a research division in AII and includes three main research areas, Knowledge Organization and Service, Information Analysis and Intelligent Information Processing. Being a researcher of KEL, I am mainly engaged in the projects, services and researches related to agricultural information analysis. My current research interests focus on the techniques, methods and applications of agricultural knowledge organization, agricultural information analysis and agricultural information visualization. This research interests would provide information decision supports and assisted references for agricultural researcher and stakeholder to some extent.
V: You are representing the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) in the agINFRA project; Can you share some information about your current work and its relation to FAO AGRIS? How is the agINFRA project related to your current work?
W: agINFRA is an Integrated Infrastructure Initiative project that will try to introduce the agricultural scientific communities into the vision of open and participatory data-intensive science. In particular, agINFRA aims to design and develop a scientific data infrastructure for agricultural sciences that will facilitate the development of policies and the deployment of services that will promote sharing of data among agricultural scientists and develop trust within and among their communities.
So, for the whole purpose, CAAS will expand the scientific data basis of the infrastructure by providing Chinese Agricultural Sci-tech Documents Database (CASDD) and Germplasm metadata through LOD techniques, related information integration and management services by cooperating with other groups, such as FAO. And my current work just are to integrate the CAAS bibliographic metadata to the AGRIS system, and to link the Chinese Crop Germplasm Information System (CGRIS) and other agINFRA resources to AGRIS, and to develop a Chinese version of the AGRIS Java application based on the catalogue database and the API in development.
For the relationship between my current work and the agINFRA project, in short, the Chinese bibliographic metadata and Germplasm are the expanded underlying data resources of agINFRA, while AGRIS system is a part of target integrated services in agINFRA.
V: What were your expectations from your research stay at Agro-Know for these three months? Do you think that you met those expectations?
W: Besides in Rome in 2011, it is the second time to work and study outside China and to cooperate closely with so many elites in the world information for me. And be different from last time, I have my heart set on my task no longer. Besides completing my working task successfully, I have made a special effort on absorbing the special thinking ways from Agro-Know and improving working efficiency during the scientific research. “It’s time to relax to relax; it’s time to work to work”. Obviously these can’t be done during only two months, and I will always make great effort for them on my future research way.
V:You have been in Greece for almost 3 months now; how do you like it so far? What do you like and what you don’t?
W: For my mind, Greece has been a romantic country and had a strong appeal for one. After I come here, it is really so. But for missing my relatives especially my little daughter, I like here everything, such as famous olive cosmetic, fascinating Santorini sunset, real leather goods and warm people everywhere and so on. What I like the most here are the life styles of no pressure and relaxing.
V: Last but not least; what is your opinion about Agro-Know, based on your short experience during these months?
W: Agro-Know is not only a fast growing company specializing in knowledge management practices and services, promoting research and innovation in the agricultural domain, also a big family with great solidarity and mutual help. Everyone here is hospitable. And many elites engaged in information technologies gather here. What particularly attracted me are the good and interesting company cultures on the wall in Agro-Know office and academic atmospheres everywhere.