Reflecting on the announcement made by international award organizations, including the Nobel Prize Foundation and the Japan Prize Foundation, about cancelling this year’s award ceremonies or banquets, the Tang Prize Foundation has also decided to call off its award ceremony and banquet which are part of the “2020 Tang Prize Week” scheduled to take place in late September. Dr. Jenn-Chuan Chern, CEO of the Tang Prize Foundation, explained that as the 2020 laureates come from seven countries, among which America, Britain, Bangladesh, Colombia and Lebanon are still in tight grip of the virus, the Foundation, taking into consideration Taiwan’s travel restrictions and quarantine requirements, as well as its laureates’ health and safety, has reached the conclusion of cancelling the award ceremony and other major events and will instead hold the Masters’ Forum on a larger scale.
On September 21 and 22, four master’s forums will be staged on-site in four of Taiwan’s universities and livestreamed at the same time, allowing the eight 2020 laureates, individuals as well as representatives of the three NGOs, whose trips to Taiwan have been hampered by the pandemic, to take part online, facilitating their interaction with eminent scholars in Taiwan, and further publicizing their innovative ideas and extraordinary contributions. In addition, previous laureates and some of Taiwan’s most esteemed experts will also be invite to participate and comment on important topics such as ecosystem conservation, autoimmunity studies, identity issues facing the Chinese overseas, and human rights and environmental justice. It is expected that these occasions can help Taiwan demonstrate in the world arena how it has been responding to the changing global trends by incorporating new concepts and visions into its actions. Four locations have been designated as the venues for the forums on the prize’s four award categories. They are National Tsing Hua University for Sustainable Development, National Cheng Kung University for Biopharmaceutical Science, National Chengchi University for Sinology and National Taiwan University for Rule of Law. More detailed information will be available on the Foundation’s website soon.
Alternative arrangements have also been made to substitute for the award ceremony which is intended to celebrate the laurates’ outstanding achievements. The Foundation wants to make it clear that until the pandemic is brought under control and it is safe and easy again for everyone to travel, communicate with one another and undertake usual daily activities will it start to invite the 2020 laureates not only to main international academic conferences to deliver Tang Prize lectures, but also to Taiwan to give their laureates’ lectures, to be presented with the medal and diploma with due solemnity and dignity, and to exchange ideas with people from different disciplines and sectors. Please stay tuned to the Tang Prize official website for the latest updates.