In the middle of a series of visits to important science-related institutions in Taiwan, members of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS) visited the Tang Prize Foundation on Friday (December 26) to learn about the organization and operations of the prize. Led by branch Vice-chairman Vasily Fomin and Director Vadim Lebiga of the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, the researchers were met by Tang Prize Foundation CEO Dr. Jenn-Chuan Chern, who gave a detailed overview of the prize and fielded questions about the nomination and selection processes.
Fomin said that he approved of commissioning such a highly-qualified institution as the Academia Sinica to manage nomination and selection; he was similarly in agreement with the establishment of four independent prize category committees. When notified that the prize could be awarded to institutions as well as individuals, Fomin foresaw that the Russian Academy of Sciences may one day receive recognition in one of the Tang Prize categories. The philanthropic efforts of Tang Prize founder Dr. Samuel Yin were also a topic for discussion at the meeting, as Fomin and company all commended the founder’s desire to reward and inspire contributions that promote a better, more sustainable world.
The Russian Academy of Sciences is the highest scientific institution in Russia and one of the top research institutions in the world; it is also one of the most historical, being founded in 1724 by Peter the Great with the German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz acting as advisor. The academy is subdivided into three territorial divisions, or branches: Siberian, Ural, and Far East. As an enduring institution of the sciences, its influence has reached broad and deep, with important and basic research being done in the natural and social sciences, technology, and the humanities. As of 2014, 18 Russian Academy members have been awarded the Nobel Prize.