Five Documentaries to Round Off Celebration of Tang Prize’s 10th Anniversary

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As a finale to the celebration of its 10th anniversary, the Tang Prize Foundation collaborated with Taiwan’s CTV to make five telecasts scheduled to be aired this December. They are: “Excellence and Sustainability: Ten Years of the Tang Prize,”

a special episode of CTV’s “Sixty Minutes” program, and four documentaries about the 2022 laureates, respectively titled “Leading Sustainable Development with Compassion,” “Saving the World with mRNA Vaccines,” “Giving Voice to Mute Objects,” and “Advancing Constitution-Building in the Asia-Pacific.” The special episode traces the history of the Tang Prize of the past decade and chronicles its evolution from a simple will for the good of all to a prestigious international award. The documentaries include precious footage the CTV crew obtained by flying to America, Britain, Canada, and Australia to conduct in-depth interviews with all 2022 laureates, in order to provide audiences with a faithful rendition of their stories and the extraordinary contributions they have made in response to the many uncertainties that roiled the world. Starting on December 10th, they will be broadcast on CTV’s news channel for three consecutive weekends. Around the same time, the Tang Prize will also set up a “10th Anniversary” webpage on its official website to archive all these documentaries as well as news articles related to its anniversary celebration events.


CEO of the Tang Prize Foundation Dr. Jenn-Chuan Chern reminded the public that the Tang Prize was established to find solutions to challenges unique to the 21st century, and all the laureates in the four award categories, with their exceptional accomplishments, can play a role in leading the advancement of our civilization. He hopes that by making documentaries, publishing books, and collating information about Tang Prize laureates, important records can be preserved, important not least because they are also educational material that can be used to encourage more young people to find their passions in life and work hard to make themselves valuable assets to the world and to mankind. Academician of Academia Sinica and a member of the Tang Prize Board of Directors Dr. Ovid Tseng pointed out that a key mission of the Tang Prize is to award achievements already made so as to shine a light on the path to developments waiting to be made. Changes on a global level happen all the time. That means more problems will emerge in the future, and only by highlighting the most exemplary research of our time can we know what our next aims should be.       


Dr. Chern went into more details of “Excellence and Sustainability: Ten Years of the Tang Prize,” noting that it consists of interviews with tens of notable figures who made the Tang Prize possible, such as its founder Dr. Samuel Yin, President of the Tang Prize Selection Committee Dr. Shu Chien, former President of Academia Sinica Dr. Chi-Huey Wong, eminent lawyer Dr. Charng-Ven Chen, Academician Dr. Ovid Tseng, and several Tang Prize recipients. There is also plenty of footage of the past Tang Prize award ceremonies, laureates’ lectures, and international events the Tang Prize participated. Moreover, the documentaries about the 2022 laureates offer a rare glimpse into their family background, personal experience, and ups and downs in their careers as well as illustrate the research and work they are lauded for. These are touching and inspiring stories about the laureates’ struggles and their unswerving convictions. It’s worth mentioning that Professor Dame Jessica Rawson, who won the Tang Prize in Sinology in 2022, once served as the Keeper of the Department of Oriental Antiquities at the British Museum. Not only did she help get the permission for the production crew to film inside the museum but she also conducted a guided tour for them of the section that housed the museum’s Chinese collection. All five documentaries will be made available for free for interested schools, institutions and media outlets to broadcast on their own platforms.


“Leading Sustainable Development with Compassion” is an introduction of the 2022 laureate in Sustainable Development Professor Jeffrey Sachs, in which he talks about his academic pursuit that has lasted for more than fifty years, about how he became the first person to be appointed professor of sustainable development, and about the transformation of his role from an economist to an advocate for global sustainable development. Also makes an appearance in the film are Professor Sachs’ partner of more than five decades and several colleagues of his for many years. They share the sacrifices he has made in seeking social justice, the perseverance he never loses, the systemic promotion of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) he undertook, and the many charismatic traits he has. Lately, Professor Sachs has been making a series of recommendations to organizations such as the UN and the International Monetary Fund to increase the financing of sustainable development for the bottom half of the world as a way to resolve various crises caused by the COVID pandemic and the war in Ukraine. 


“Saving the World with mRNA Vaccines” is about the recipients of the 2022 Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science, Drs. Katalin Kariko, Drew Weissman, and Pieter Cullis. It is a tale of the emotional journeys they went through, from persevering in their own research domains for many years to being brought together to collaborate by serendipity. Through this documentary, we get to know how they felt when realizing they had successfully developed the first mRNA-LNP vaccines against COVID-19. Three scientists with three distinct personalities reacted in three different ways, all of which would guarantee to tug at the heartstrings. Countless lives have been saved because of their tireless efforts and, as a result, the door to a new era of mRNA-LNP-based therapeutics was also opened.      


“Giving Voice to Mute Objects” takes the audience into the world of Professor Jessica Rawson, 2022 laureate in Sinology and currently a professor of Chinese art and archaeology at Oxford University. When she was eighteen, Professor Rawson had a chance to excavate in Jerusalem, where she saw, among the items unearthed, a huge amount of Chinese ceramics that piqued her interest in Chinese culture and cultural exchanges between the East and West. Her career at the British Museum spanned more than two decades. Specializing in Chinese bronzes and jade, Professor Rawson is known for offering her sui generis analysis of the social and cultural contexts in which these objects were made and used. In recent years, her focus has been on horse trade in ancient China, and this new project led her to a new theory about the origin of the Silk Road. Professor Rawson’s research has not only helped the Europeans understand why it is important to take history as a mirror that shows us how dynasties rose and fell, but also enabled the Chinese to gain a deeper knowledge of themselves.      


“Advancing Constitution-Building in the Asia-Pacific” gives us a closer look at 2022 laureate in Rule of Law Professor Cheryl Saunders. It describes how her early experience got her curious about this richly diverse world and how this curiosity was later incorporated into her research and paved the way for an inclusive approach to comparative constitutional studies she would adopt. In many of her interviews and anecdotes about her, Professor Saunders evinces great receptiveness to different values and impresses people with her indefatigable energy. Notably, she has always been the one committed to facilitating communication, supporting the younger generation, and offering assistance to scholars and legal professionals in the Asia-Pacific to build a constitution of their own, slowly but steadily and in an often difficult circumstance.   





Schedule】     Channels:CTV, CTV News、CTV News Live


The Tang Prize

2022 Laureates


Excellence and Sustainability :Ten Years of the Tang Prize

Leading Sustainability Development with Compassion

Advancing Constitution-Building in the Asia-Pacific

Saving the World with mRNA Vaccines

Giving Voice to Mute Objects







Dec. 10(Sat.)






Dec. 17(Sat.)

14:00 (on CTV only), 20:00





Dec. 24(Sat.)






Dec. 25(Sun.)







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 skills 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.