A researcher of the Institute of Geochemistry at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), member of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) and the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), Ouyang Ziyuan has long been engaged in the studies of such fields as astrochemistry, astrolithology, lunar and deep space exploration, comparative planetology and resources & environment geochemistry.
Ouyang Ziyuan is a pioneer in the field of astrochemistry in China. He has had some 430 papers and 11 treatises published at home and abroad; in addition, he has also acted as editor-in-chief for 13 books on special subjects, contributing systematically and enormously to the founding and development of astrochemistry in China, the comprehensive researches of the geological effects of underground nuclear test, and lunar explorations.
Ouyang Ziyuan was the first in China to conduct researches into extraterrestrial matters and comparative planetology, as well as to put forward the theory on the cause of formation of iron meteorites and glass meteorites; the classification of the origins of cosmic dust; the theory on the mode of formation and evolution of the Jilin meteorites and the history of the irradiation of multiple stage cosmic rays; the energies inside the Earth and their new mode of evolution; the new observations of the non-uniform chemical composition and non-even change evolution of the Earth and Earth-like planets. He also advanced and proved the new opinion regarding the Six Great Impacts since the Cenozoic Era and their induction of the reversion of ancient climate as well as the disastrous change of the environment. From 1964-1978, Ouyang Ziyuan was in charge of the selection and proving of geological sites for China's underground nuclear test, the simulation of the explosion process, as well as the comprehensive research of the geological effects of the test. He came up with a creative scheme for China's long term plan of lunar exploration as well as the scientific objectives and payloads of its first phase project; and, in his capacity as chief scientist of China's lunar exploration endeavor, he was involved in organizing and presiding over the specific implementation of the first phase project of the lunar exploration plan. As well, he was put to charge to study and work out an implementation and design plan for the second phase project of China's lunar exploration scheme.
The numerous honors and awards Ouyang Ziyuan has received include: the Award of the National Science Congress (1978), the First Prize for Key Scientific and Technological Achievements of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (1986), the Third Prize of Natural Science of China (1987), the First Prize of Natural Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (1987 and 1991), the Top Science & Technology Award of Guizhou Province (2003), the Award of Outstanding Contributions to the Lunar Circumventive Exploration Project (2007), the Special Award for the Advancement of Science & Technology for National Defense (2008), and the Special Award for the Advancement of State Science & Technology (2009). In 2005, he was chosen as a national advanced worker, and in 2010 he was honored with the title "National Outstanding Science Worker".