During the two months the “Tang Prize 10th Anniversary Exhibition” was housed in Taiwan’s National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, it got rave reviews from visitors at home and abroad. Then, on November 5, the day the 2022 Taiwan Science Festival opened, the exhibit also started running at Kaohsiung’s National Science and Technology Museum, where it will stay on view until November 4, 2023. Apart from treating people in southern Taiwan to a feast of knowledge, the Tang Prize Foundation around the same time launched a new e-book, Brave All Adversities: the 2020 Tang Prize Laureates. Two years in the making and now available on www.readmoo.com, reading.udn.com, www.kobo.com, Amazon, and Google Play, this Chinese language biography welcomes readers, especially young students, to a digital sphere where their minds can roam freely in a scientific landscape until finding the way to their destinations in an imaginable future.
Dr. Jenn-Chuan Chern, CEO of the Tang Prize Foundation, pointed out that as the Tang Prize is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022, the theme of exhibit was especially centered on “four lessons on the Tang Prize.” Moreover, it features the Tang Prize mascot Dr. Tang as the lecturer, and boasts display cabinets, interactive installations, multimedia appliances, and infographics. The design was aimed at transforming the complexities of the academic achievements made by the thirty-three laureates receiving the prize in five two-year rounds over the course of ten years into something fun and easy to learn. During the two months when the exhibit was held in the Memorial Hall, the Foundation received a sea of positive feedback written in a variety of languages, including Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Burmese, on its Facebook and on “To Our Future,” a message board placed at the exhibit venue. Here are some samples: “It (the Tang Prize) has helped many young people develop a global vision.” “To our earth and to myself: You got this!” “Well done, the Tang Prize, for recognizing the scientists who developed vaccines and saved millions of lives.” “Take on the unrighteous. Fight for the voiceless.” “The Tang Prize, a prize that benefits the world.” A little girl even left a self-portrait with the comment, “I felt I learned a lot here.” Words like these truly warmed the hearts of everyone in the organizing team.
Dr. Chern mentioned that besides the message board, another part of the exhibit that attracted most attention was the game that teaches the public how to make an mRNA vaccine. In the second place on the popularity list was a personality test called the “Halls of Law.” Dr. Chern also recommended visiting the area designated for the prize in Sustainable Development and playing with an interactive table there to gain some knowledge about the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the evolution of the concept of sustainable development. In addition to awarding people whose innovative ideas have made great contributions to mankind and the world in the 21st century, the Tang Prize has another important mission: to educate. Therefore, the Foundation held this exhibit and published an e-book, hoping that young people would feel motivated to get to know the laureates, study the best research in science and social sciences, decide what their lifelong endeavors are, and aspire to do things beneficial to humanity. Brave All Adversities is a collection of stories about the personal lives, research adventures, faith and creeds, interviews and valuable photos of the eight 2020 laureates. It is a fascinating book worth perusing.
The 10th Anniversary Exhibition is composed of seven sections. There is one called “Get to Know the Tang Prize in Six Simple Questions”; there are four kiosks offering four lessons, one on each of the four prize categories (Sustainable Development, Biopharmaceutical Science, Sinology, and Rule of Law); there is a place where gifts from the laureates are on display; and there is a booth where you can see what the Tang Prize has achieved in the past ten years. Every design was intended to make the exhibit more approachable and enjoyable to the general public, giving everyone an immersive experience by trying to make an mRNA vaccine, doing a personality test that matches you to one of the laureates in Rule of Law, spending time at the interactive table fitted with extractable boards that give you some facts about sustainable development, and flipping some information plates to read about the relation between horse trade and cultural transmission in ancient China. The colorful illustrations accompanied by Dr. Tang’s explanations can help visitors glance through and get a grasp of laureates’ extraordinary achievements with great ease. The display of gifts from former laureates is meant to show the personal or professional significance these items assume to their owners. The area that demonstrates the results of the Foundation’s undertakings during the past decade are full of accounts of the past Tang Prize Weeks, international events the Foundation took part, the Foundation’s publications, as well as statistics and historical documents about former and current laureates. A special addition to the exhibit in Kaohsiung is the “Dr. Tang Reception Hall” decorated with four different Dr. Tang photo stand-ins. Anyone attending the exhibit can take a picture there, and share it on their Facebook pages, making this trip one of the sweet memories of theirs.
From November 7 to 30, if you visit the Tang Prize Facebook, click the “Like” button to become a fan, share photos of you at the exhibit, and leave a comment, you will have a chance to win a Tang Prize eco-bag and a digital copy of Brave All Adversities.
About the Exhibit
Period: November 5, 2022~November 4, 2024
Venue: National Science and Technology Museum (closes on Mondays), No. 720, Jiuru 1st Rd., Sanmin Dist., Kaohsiung
About the Tang Prize
With the advent of globalization, mankind has been able to enjoy the convenience brought forth by the advancement of human civilization and science. Yet a multitude of challenges, such as climate change, the emergence of new infectious diseases, wealth gap, and moral degradation, have surfaced along the way. As a response, Dr. Samuel Yin established the Tang Prize in December 2012. It consists of four award categories, namely Sustainable Development, Biopharmaceutical Science, Sinology, and Rule of Law. Every other year, four independent and professional selection committees, made up of many distinguished international experts and scholars, including Nobel laureates, choose from a pool of nominees who have influenced and made substantive contributions to the world, regardless of ethnicity, nationality or gender. A cash prize of NT$50 million (approx. US$1.7 million) is allocated to each category, with NT$10 million of it (approx. US$ 0.35 million) designated as a research grant to the laureate to support relevant educational projects. The hope is to encourage more people with professional knowledge and skill to address mankind’s most urgent needs in this century, and to become leading forces behind the development of human society through their outstanding research and civic engagement.