Established by Dr. Samuel Yin in 2012, the Tang Prize celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with the 2022 Tang Prize Masters’ Forum series that came to a successful conclusion in September. Six 2022 laureates, Professor Jeffrey Sachs for Sustainable Development, Drs. Katalin Kariko, Drew Weissman, Pieter Cullis for Biopharmaceutical Science, Professor Dame Jessica Rawson for Sinology, and Professor Cheryl Saunders for Rule of Law, delivered six edifying speeches, and exchanged views with leading Taiwanese experts in their specific fields. Tens of thousands of students, scholars as well as interested laypeople were drawn to the event venues. The livestream of the series on the Tang Prize Foundation’s official YouTube channels also allowed a wider global audience to participate online in real time.
Exploring the theme of the forum, “Sustainable Development Pathways Toward 2030 and Beyond,” Professor Sachs offered his insight about pressing issues that face the world at the moment, including raging inflation, fuel and food shortages, extreme weather and the urgent need to reach net zero by 2050. He also provided practical suggestions on how every country, Taiwan included, can achieve sustainable development, and reiterated the importance of encouraging international cooperation, advocating peace, fostering universal values, and taking swift action to resolve the crises we currently have.
(video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAAlSiyuC_k&t=5347s)
Known for their collaboration that has spanned for two decades, Dr. Kariko and Dr. Weissman delivered a speech on “History of mRNA Development for Therapy” and “Nucleoside-modified mRNA Therapeutics” respectively. They both stressed that scientific advancement requires team work while pointing out the advantage and great potential of the therapeutic use of mRNA.
(video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF-uFLbKTkQ&t=6109s)
At a separate forum, Dr. Cullis gave a talk on “Lipid Nanoparticles (LNPs), Gene Therapy and the COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine,” sharing his experience as a researcher for fifty years and of developing lipid-based delivery systems for nearly thirty years. He also explained how LNP technology is being employed to enable mRNA-based gene therapy.
(video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoK94h9QFIM&t=8825s)
Elaborating on the topic of “Bronze, Jade and Gold: The Language of Objects and Their Context,” Professor Rawson examined everyday articles and ritual pieces found in tombs, combed through inventories of items made of these three precious materials, investigated the social contexts and cultural norms hidden behind these objects, and revealed the traces that chronicle the encounter between the East and the West. By decoding the language of these unearthed treasures, she took the audience on a journey deep into China’s rich and complex history.
(video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU-1DfBPBNM&t=5603s)
Speaking on the topic of “Public Participation in Constitutional Change—Reflections from a Comparative Perspective,” Professor Saunders listed an array of examples to illustrate how citizens in several countries participated in constitutional reform and discussed the significance of these cases, as well as their modalities and limitations. She also expressed optimism about the referendum to be held on November 26 on whether the age of the Taiwanese eligible to exercise their civil rights should be lowered to 18. She believes it needs support from the government and all the political parties and the passing of this referendum would create a virtuous cycle that engages more people in related issues and movements.
(video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ5aqml-5Bc&t=2505s)
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