Buddhism from a Scientific Perspective
Buddhism in Contemporary Society Lecture Series
Free admission; registration required.
Professor C. F. Lee, Director, HKU School of Professional & Continuing Education and Chair Professor of Geotechnical Engineering
Professor Lee will examine the principle of cause and effect, the four noble truths and meditation from a scientific perspective. It is postulated that the principle of cause and effect is generally consistent with our understanding of modern-day physics — the interchange between mass and energy parallels the evolution of physical presence from apparent emptiness. The four noble truths can be seen as a scientific and systematic methodology for identifying problems, finding their root causes and relevant solutions, and then implementing solutions to tackle the problems. Professor Lee will also draw examples from modern day neuroscience which allows for the study of brain cells using techniques such as MRI and electroencephalograms, and demonstrate how meditation can lead to better attention orientation, monitoring, as well as higher positive attributes and lower response to stress.
Professor Lee joined the University of Hong Kong in 1994 as a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and served as a pro-vice-chancellor between 2000 and 2008. He previously taught at the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto, before starting a long career with Ontario Hydro in Canada. He has published several journal papers and books, and has served as technical advisor to the World Bank, the UNDP, the ADB, the IAEA and the Canadian International Development Agency over the years. Professor Lee has also been actively involved with community organizations including the Fuhui Charitable Foundation; Hong Kong Institute for Promotion of Chinese Culture; Lord Wilson Heritage Trust; Jao Tsung-I Petite Ecole; and West Kowloon Cultural District Authority. He was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Science in 2001, and an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2003. He was appointed a Justice-of-the Peace in 2003 and awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star in 2005. He also served as a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in 2005. Professor Lee obtained his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Hong Kong in Civil Engineering. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario, in the field of geotechnical engineering.