The ISF Shuyuan is based on the classical Chinese learning sanctuary and the Platonic Academy, the chief goal of which is independent, deep study and rigorous enquiry under the guidance of a master. Set in the 21st century, Shuyuan research and learning programs promote deep and thoughtful scholarship in a multidisciplinary environment, allowing selected Shuyuan scholars to pursue research into challenging or novel branches of knowledge beyond the regularly-taught curriculum in mainstream institutions of learning. Embracing the sciences, classical studies, philosophy, and global politics, Shuyuan scholars contribute to the global dialogue on pressing issues such as sustainable development, renewable energy, environmental stewardship, and the broader applications of molecular biology. Shuyuan scholarship requires long-term dedication and high-level critical thinking, as the skills being developed are cumulative and form the foundation for rigorous, lifelong learning. The Shuyuan mission is the development of a strong spirit of inquiry, sound, ethical scholarship, applied creativity, intellectual curiosity, and practical wisdom.