China granted its State Scientific and Technological Award for 2006 to scientist Li Zhensheng for his achievements in wheat breeding. Chinese president Hu Jintao presented the top award at a ceremony on February 27, 2007, to Li and other prominent scientists and enterprises that have made remarkable progress in technological innovation. Li was awarded five million yuan (about US$640,000) at the ceremony, including 500,000 yuan for himself and 4.5 million for his research.
Li, born in 1931 in east China's Shandong Province, is an academician at the State Key Laboratory of Plant Cell and Chromosome Engineering, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. He has developed innovative wheat strains through hybridization and contributed to China's food security. He successfully developed the wheat strain "Xiaoyan No. 6" in 1979 that can endure drought, withstand heat and resist disease.
Zhensheng Li is co-author of numerous articles in Springer's journals, including Plant and Soil, Euphytica, and the Chinese Science Bulletin. Springer began publishing the Chinese Science Bulletin - the most renowned and frequently cited magazine for Chinese research literature in 2006.
The State Scientific and Technological Awards, initiated by the State Council of the People's Republic of China in 2000, aim to reward citizens and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to scientific and technological progress, recognize the enthusiasm and creativity of scientists and technologists, and accelerate the development of scientific and technological undertakings.