Amid Turmoil, 2020 Tang Prize Laureates Strive for An Orderly New World

  • 2020 Tang Prize Laureates
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The theme of the 2020 Tang Prize, “for a world of virtue,” is intended to extol the pursuit of the ultimate goodness taken up by its latest laureates who demonstrated to us the best one can achieve in the fields of environmental sustainability, medical science, history and philosophy, and law and justice. What shine brightly through the current turmoil are their remarkable achievements, reminding us that only through mutual help and collaboration can we build a new relationship between human, nature, and technology, and eventually find a path to the restoration of world order.


Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace and one of the most influential primatologists today, was awarded the 2020 Tang Prize in Sustainable Development, “for her ground-breaking discovery in primatology that redefines human-animal relationship and for her lifelong unparalleled dedication to the conservation of Earth environment.” Her work laid a strong foundation for the world’s march towards a sustainable future. 


The prize in Biopharmacuetical Science went to Charles Dinarello (USA), Marc Feldmann (UK/Australia) and Tadamitsu Kishimoto (Japan) “for the development of cytokine-targeting biological therapies for treatment of inflammatory diseases." Their research, lasting for nearly half a century, has not only made great contributions to basic science but also showed the potential to help patients suffering from Covid-19.


Renowned historian Wang Gungwu won the prize in Sinology, “for his trailblazing and dissecting insights on the history of the Chinese world order, Chinese overseas, and Chinese migratory experience. As the leading scholar on Sino-Southeast Asian historical relations, he developed a unique approach to understanding China by scrutinizing its long and complex relation with its southern neighbors. His erudition and critical discernment have significantly enriched the explanation of China’s changing place in the world, traditionally developed from an internalist perspective or in relation to the West.”


Three NGOs, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association from Bangladesh, Dejusticia: The Center for Law, Justice and Society from Colombia, and The Legal Agenda from Lebanon, were named joint winners of the prize in Rule of Law, “for their efforts in furthering the rule of law and its institutions through education and advocacy. Utilizing innovative strategic litigation, informed by rigorous scholarship, these organizations have shown exemplary perseverance in promoting greater individual, social and environmental justice, in milieus where the foundations of the rule of law are under severe challenge.”   


Established by Taiwanese entrepreneur Dr. Samuel Yin, the biannual Tang Prize consists of four categories, namely Sustainable Development, Biopharmaceutical Science, Sinology and Rule of Law, with NT$ 40 million (approx. US$1.33 million) in cash prize and a research grant of NT$ 10 million (approx. US$ 0.33 million) allocated to each category. Through promoting the interaction and cooperation between culture and technology, it aims to find a 21st century path to the sustainable development of the world. For more information, please visit the prize’s official website at