Banse Seminar Series, 27 Oct 2021
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Computer, Ocean, and Disability
Seoul National University, Korea
Sang-Mook Lee is an Associate Professor at Seoul National University School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, where he specializes in global Geodynamics and Geophysics. He heads both the undergraduate and graduate computational sciences programs and recently manages the much coveted 10-10 Project (Planet A). Sang-Mook is an Associate Member of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, the President of International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) Korea Committee and the Chair of InterRidge.
On July 2, 2006, during a geologic field trip in the California desert, Sang-Mook was critically injured in a van rollover accident which rendered him quadriplegic, completely paralyzed neck down. Nobody thought he would return. However, in less than six months, he returned to the university on an electric wheelchair. His incredible comeback made him an icon overnight.
Sang-Mook has been advocating the use of ICT to address important societal problems. In 2010-2014, he spearheaded Quality of Life Technology, a multimillion-dollar initiative to develop assistive technology and provide high-level education for people with disabilities. He served on several top-level government committees including the Presidential Council for Information Society (2009–2013), and the Disability Policy Coordination Council under the Prime Minister twice. In October 2015, his testimony under oath at the National Assembly against the monopolization of research vessels by the government led to a radical change. The testimony resulted into a new law which gave equal access to the academic community. Personally, Sang-Mook regards this act as his most gratifying contribution to basic science.