On September 21 and 22, the Tang Prize Foundation will hold four Masters’ Forums at National Taiwan University, National Tsing Hua University, National Cheng Kung University, and National Chengchi University respectively, lifting the curtain on this year’s Tang Prize events. The Foundation cordially invites anyone interested in topics related to sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, Sinology, and the rule of law to visit our official website and participate online in these thought-provoking conferences.
To curb the spread of the coronavirus, governments around the world have imposed travel ban and quarantine measures, which, nonetheless, make it difficult for our latest 8 laureates hailing from 7 countries to come to Taiwan and receive the award in person by the end of the year. Seeing the huge impact the pandemic has exerted on global economy, human society and natural environment, and believing that the Foundation’s missions are to realize the vision of “making the world a better place” and to create “new values and thoughts for the present era,” Dr. Jenn-Chuan Chern, CEO of the Tang Prize Foundation, worked out special plans to upscale this year’s Masters’ Forums, which will not only take place on-site on 4 aforementioned campuses but also be livestreamed on our website. 2020 winners will be accompanied by previous laureates to take part in conversations with moderators and panelists, looking at topics that cover ecological conservation, environmental protection, auto-immune disease studies, the identity of Chinese overseas, and human rights and environmental justice, as well as talking about potential transformations and innovations in the era of COVID-19.
To kick start this series, the forum for Rule of Law will take place at 10:30 a.m. (GMT+8) Taiwan time, September 21, in the College of Law at National Taiwan University. Representatives from the three awarded NGOs, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, Dejusticia: The Center for Law, Justice and Society, and The Legal Agenda, will speak on the topic, “Exploring the Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in the Contemporary Civil Society,” and shed light on how to advance judicial reform, promote environmental protection and defend the rights of the marginalized in the milieu where the foundation of the rule of law is under severe challenge. In addition, 2014 and 2016 laureates, former Justice of South Africa’s Constitutional Court Albie Sachs, and former UN’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration Louise Arbour, will present their views on NGOs’ functions in a civil society.
At 4p.m. (GMT+8) Taiwan time, September 21, the second forum, scheduled for Sustainable Development and titled “Ecological Conservation and Sustainable Development of Human Society: The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic,” will be staged in the International Conference Hall at National Tsing Hua University. Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, UN messenger of peace, and newly anointed Tang Prize winner in this category, who received an honorary doctorate from National Tsing Hua University, will offer her insightful advice on how to understand the interactions between mankind, animals and nature in relation to the sustainable development of human society in the age of coronavirus. Three previous laureates, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, former director-general of the WHO, Dr. James Hansen, director of the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions in the Earth Institute at Colombia University and Prof. Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Edward A. Frieman Endowed Presidential Chair in Climate Sustainability in UC San Diego, will all contribute their professional opinions. It is hoped that these in-depth discussions about the influence of the pandemic with regard to social and economic inequalities will pave the way for the formulation of effective strategies to ensure successful ecosystem conservation and a sustainable future.
The forum for Biopharmaceutical Science, the third one in the pipeline and jointly organized by the Experimental Biology (EB), will be held at 9 a.m. (GMT+8) Taiwan time, September 22, in the College of Medicine at National Cheng Kung University. 2020 laureates, Dr. Charles Dinarello, distinguished university professor at the University of Colorado, Dr. Mar Feldmann, professor emeritus at the University of Oxford, and Dr. Tadamitsu Kishimoto, former president of Osaka University, will explore the topic, “Targeting the Hyperactive Immune System, from Autoimmune Disease to Cytokine Storms,” helping anyone facing the threat of coronavirus to put his finger on the pulse of the latest development in biomedical science in the age of coronavirus. You will also hear from Dr. James P. Allison and Dr. Tasuku Honjo, 2014 Tang Prize and 2018 Nobel Prize winners, who are going to brainstorm with us to look for all the opportunities for the development of biopharmaceutical research that could be opened up because of the current health crisis.
The forum for Sinology, the fourth and last one on our agenda, gets underway at 2p.m. (GMT+8) Taiwan time, September 22, at National Chengchi University’s Art & Culture Centre. The latest winner, Prof. Wang Gungwu, will speak on the topic, “The High Road to Pluralist Sinology,” presenting his original dissection of China’s position in the world as perceived from the unique viewpoint of an outsider with insider knowledge of China’s academic tradition. Ideas will also be exchanged between Prof. Wang and other scholars at the venue to examine what Sinology means to the modern society. Moreover, as a response to the insidious virus that is raging across the world right now, Prof. Wang will reference relevant historical contexts to analyze how China’s relationship with its neighbors in Southeast Asia might evolve in the future.
The Tang Prize Foundation will collaborate with international organizations such as the EB, AAS-in-Asia, and the Jane Goodall Institute to bring to global audiences four well-packaged and star-studded forums where our laureates can share their thoughts, experiences, and sweet-bitter memories with great generosity and sincerity. These events, specifically organized to investigate the COVID-19 pandemic, are expected to provide viewers around the world with new concepts put forward by people with different expertise, so that humanity as a whole can take on challenges together and change the world for the better. On September 21 and 22, please join us on the Tang Prize official website: https://www.tang-prize.org/en/first.php to witness these amazing meetings virtually, and to be inspired by these amazing visionaries intellectually.