align="justify">Recipients of the inaugural Tang Prize will be announced over four days of press conferences (June 18-21) at the Academia Sinica, the highest academic institution in Taiwan. Current Academia Sinica President Dr. Chi-Huey Wong, former Academia Sinica President Dr. Yuan Tseh Lee, a Nobel Laureate, and prize founder Dr. Samuel Yin are all scheduled to attend.
Founded in December 2012 by Taiwan’s Ruentex Group chairman Dr. Samuel Yin, the Tang Prize is an award given in recognition of outstanding achievements regardless of nationality, ethnicity, or political beliefs, and is awarded in four prize categories: Sustainable Development, Biopharmaceutical Science, Sinology, and Rule of Law. On the whole, the prize encourages a more holistic and cross-disciplinary approach to reflect the new challenges humanity faces in today’s complicated world.
Tang Prize nominee and laureate selection is conducted by the Academia Sinica selection committee, who base their decision on candidates’ originality, influence, and contribution to the greater society. Each category receives a cash prize of NT$40 million (US$1.34 million). In addition to the cash prize, a research grant of at most $NT10 million (US$333,000) is awarded. As foundation CEO Dr. Jenn-Chuan Chern explained in a recent interview, the purpose of the grant is to encourage award recipients to continue their research, train and educate the next generation of researchers and scholars, and contribute to further progress in their respective fields.
The Tang in the prize name is an homage to the Chinese dynasty of the same name as well as a celebration of that period’s cultural wealth, liberal policy, and technological progress. Under the Tang Emperors, Eastern and Western cultures began an unprecedented exchange in commerce, government, and culture characterized by tolerance of different cultures and religions and open-mindedness to new ideas. Such virtues are what the Tang Prize was founded to promote.
The prize is the first such international academic award to be based in Taiwan, and will be commencing its inaugural year in 2014. Award recipients in each of the four categories are scheduled to be announced during four press conferences from June 18-21, while the awards ceremony will commence three months later on September 18.