TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Tang Prize Foundation has received presents from past laureates that shed light on their sources of inspiration, including a twig used by a chimpanzee to find food.
Renowned British primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall, who received the award in 2020 for her contribution to sustainable development, offered a twig used by a chimpanzee named David Greybeard to “fish for termites.” She first witnessed the phenomenon while studying the primates in Gombe National Park in 1960.
Also gifted to the foundation were a pair of wooden spears made by Australian Indigenous people. The donor, British immunologist Marc Feldmann, described the weapons as a metaphor for “his successful pursuit of a therapeutic target.”
Tang Prize Foundation CEO Chern Jenn-chuan (陳振川) expressed his gratitude to the laureates for their donations, which he believes have a significant place in their quest for breakthroughs in their own area of expertise. The twig, for example, was hailed as bringing about a paradigm shift in the understanding of the human-animal relationship, he reckoned.
The objects will be displayed in a Tang Prize exhibition currently being held at the National Science and Technology Museum in Kaohsiung.
Launched in 2012 by Taiwanese entrepreneur Samuel Yin (尹衍樑), the Tang Prize celebrates global achievements in the fields of sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology, and the rule of law. The winner of each category receives a cash prize of NT$40 million (US$1.41 million) and a grant of up to NT$10 million to fund their research.