James Liao (???), president of Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research institution, lauded the contributions of this year's Tang Prize laureates on Sunday, saying they have expanded new frontiers.
Speaking at the opening of the 2016 Tang Prize award ceremony in Taipei, Liao said the wish of every researcher is to use the results of their research not just to resolve problems, but to improve lives.
"The six awardees here today have without a doubt made a long-lasting impact on the world through their contributions, and have inspired us to think and talk about the issues we need to address," said Liao, whose institution convened the panels of judges that selected the Tang Prize winners.
"They (awardees) have explored and expanded new frontiers, challenged the existing doctrines and charted the ways for new discoveries," he said. "They are bringing us closer to a sustainable world."
Liao said he hoped that the Tang Prize could bring more attention to the award's four categories -- sustainable development, Sinology, biopharmaceutical science, and the rule of law -- and that the laureates' works will inspire future generations to produce more forward-looking research to improve the lives of human beings.
The Tang Prize was founded by Taiwanese entrepreneur Samuel Yin to complement the Nobel Prize and recognize achievements in the above four fields.
This year's laureates are Arthur H. Rosenfeld, former commissioner of the California Energy Commission, who won the prize for sustainable development; Jennifer A. Doudna and Feng Zhang (??) of the United States, and Emmanuelle Charpentier of France, who shared the prize for biopharmaceutical science; American scholar William Theodore de Bary, who won the prize for Sinology; and Louise Arbour of Canada, a former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who won the prize for rule of law.
Tang Prize Foundation CEO Chern Jenn-chuan (???), meanwhile, said the number of nominating letters was significantly higher this year than in 2014, when the award was held for the first time.
That indicates a broader recognition of the award by the international community, he said at the award ceremony held at the National Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall.
Following the inaugural Tang Prize, the foundation formed partnerships with organizations in Taiwan and abroad and helped launch several projects along with its laureates last year, Chern noted.
They include a project that records the story of South Africa's constitutional code, one that protects elephants in Africa and one that offers scholarships to support the academic writings of young scholars, he said.
The laureates each received a medal and a certificate at the ceremony Sunday.
They will also individually receive or share (if there is more than one winner in the category) a cash prize of NT$40 million (US$1.27 million) and a research grant of up to NT$10 million to be used within five years.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel