[Sponsored Article] At a time when humanity is facing unprecedented challenges, the Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study (HKIAS) of the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) provides a unique platform for leading academics from various disciplines to address some of society's most pressing issues. Since its launch in 2015, through promoting diversity in disciplinary and methodological approaches, the HKIAS has endeavored to be a platform for specialised research that contributes to creating a better world. A prime example, HKIAS Distinguished Lecture provides a forum for the exchange of knowledge and facilitates the introduction of new insights that stimulates dialogue. For instance, during his recent HKIAS Distinguished Lecture, Professor Way Kuo, President and University Distinguished Professor of the CityU explained that, since the outbreak of COVID-19 at the end of 2019, little consolidated effort has been taken to deal with the epidemic worldwide. In his talk, Professor Kuo discussed expected losses from pandemic outbreaks and nuclear power plant accidents, together with environmental pollution. He also explained how early simulations of possible scenarios can reduce global losses both healthwise and economically. Speaking to a hybrid audience of physical and more than 300 online participants, Professor Kuo outlined how identifying the critical elements that impact the spread of infectious diseases is just as important as identifying the critical elements in the fault tree of operating nuclear power plants. He explained how such an adoption could greatly reduce the infection rate in highly susceptible communities. He also stressed the importance of simulating outcomes and consequences based on data drawn from different areas of expertise. Similar to the critical elements in the fault tree of operating nuclear power plants, Professor Kuo said simulating COVID-19 outcomes requires input from engineers, experts in infectious diseases, bio-informatics, behaviour science, and quality assurance in addition to public health experts. "Just like a nuclear problem, controlling a pandemic involves a lot of elements that need a lot of data to solve the problem," Professor Kuo noted. "Decisions should be based on data collected, no more, no less," added Professor Kuo who was the first foreign expert to be invited to conduct a post-accident assessment on the safety of the Fukushima Power Plant following the 2011 earthquake. The co-author of seven technical books and author of the popular science book, Critical Reflections on Nuclear and Renewable Energy , Professor Kuo is a Member of US National Academy of Engineering, Academia Sinica in Taiwan, and Hong Kong Academy of Sciences. Senior Fellows include Nobel Laureates In addition to establishing an internationally-recognised high-impact dissemination platform for interdisciplinary research, the HKIAS has put in place appropriate procedures to recognise and reward interdisciplinary research and education. Notably, the HKIAS is constantly evolving. When the Institute was established five years ago, there were 10 Senior Fellows. Today the number has grown to 34, including three Nobel Laureates, while the majority of Senior Fellows are members of national academies or of equivalent stature. By inviting internationally recognised academics in their fields, the HKIAS fosters intellectual exchange across disciplinary fields. Lectures and research focus on contemporary trends and issues With support, in part, provided by the Kwang Hua Educational Foundation, over the coming months, HKIAS Senior Fellows will deliver lectures highlighting the latest developments from their research fields covering the Institute’s full range of specialist research areas. These include mathematics, natural sciences, materials science, and biomedical sciences. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, during the 2020/21 academic year, Distinguished Lectures will be conducted online through Zoom. The expansion of virtual outreach enables collaboration and access to Institute scholarship in novel and exciting ways. Virtual outreach means a range of academic seminars and public events will now be available to audiences around the world in real-time. Powerful endorsement for a bright future Providing a valuable contribution that will enable HKIAS to continue its goals, earlier this year, the Institute received a significant donation of HK$15 million from the estate of one of Hong Kong’s most influential figures - the late Dr Chung Sze-yuen, GBM, JP (1917–2018). The extraordinary gift will support HKIAS endeavors to establish Fellowships for worldwide distinguished scholars. It will also enable the Institute to recruit and retain leading scholars and promising early-career talent, enabling them to explore new horizons of knowledge and further expand academic and knowledge frontiers. By building on its well-established strengths that celebrates collaboration, HKIAS will continue to develop new insights to benefit society, technology and scholarship. At the same time, importance will continue to be focused on providing extensive opportunities for mentorship. Furthermore, in addition to the groundbreaking research on campus, as HKIAS continues to push the boundaries of human knowledge through interdisciplinary collaboration and intellectual risk-taking, the reach of the HKIAS will be expanded this year through several interactive digital channels that will reinforce and leverage the creativity of the global community of scholars. For more information about HKIAS upcoming events, please visit: www.ias.cityu.edu.hk/en/event/upcoming .