RAO Qinzhi's Memorabilia Donated to IHB Archives
Prof. HU Zhengyu (5th L) donats ten items of Prof. Rao Qinzhi’s personal possessions to the archives at IHB on June 22. (Image by IHB)
The student of the late Professor RAO Qinzhi, or Chin-Chih Jao, HU Zhengyu, a professor and former deputy director of Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) of Chinese Academy of Sciences, donated ten items of Rao’s personal possessions to the archives at IHB on June 22.
These objects included monographs written by Prof. Rao, medals won by him, wood plaques carved by him, and others.
At the denotion ceremony, Prof. Hu recounted the backstory of each item.
"When he studied for a PhD in the U.S. in the 1930s, Prof. Rao illustrated all the atlas of algae for the book Marine Algae of the Northeastern Coast of North America which was written by William Randolph Taylor, an American botanist,” Hu said, adding that Prof. Richard C. Starr, an American phycologist and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, highly praised the book.
Prof. Starr, in his letter to Prof. Rao in 1989 to celebrate Rao’s 90 years birthday, mentioned their first meet in 1957 when the 13th SIL Congress was held in Helsinki, the capital of Finland.
Starr was giving phycology lectures to students at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution that year. It was, to Starr, a young scientist at the time, exhilarated to meet with the illustrator of the Marine Algae of the Northeastern Coast of North America.
This book later becomes the guidebook for the WHOI students in identifying algae speciemen.
Prof. Rao was born into a literacy family and had much artistic flair. He once taught wood carving in Jinan University in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong.
Rao retired at the age of 88. One day he picked up a piece of platane wood in the street, and carved it into a plaque, with the Chinese characters “Tui Si Zhai” engraved into the wood, meaning a place for contemplation.
"Tui si" was quoted from the earliest Chinese works of narrative history - the Commentary of Zuo, depicting the mindset for retirement. "In serving his sovereign, the man of the talent and virtue considers how to discharge his duty faithfully while in office; when he retires, he considers how to make up for his own errors."
Born in 1900, Rao was a native of Chongqing. He is a phycologist, limnologist and one of the founders of phycology in China.
Prof. Rao illustrated all the atlas of algae for the book Marine Algae of the Northeastern Coast of North America which was written by William Randolph Taylor, an American botanist. (Image by IHB)
The wood plaque carved by Prof. Rao (Image by IHB)