After a successful inaugural year in 2014, the second biennial Tang Prize commenced this September 22 at Taipei’s iconic National Palace Museum. The six recipients of the international award were greeted by Tang Prize Founder Samuel Yin at the welcoming reception, along with leaders from industry and government. The reception was the first in a week-long series of events, including a culturally diverse concert, a lecture and forum series, and the centerpiece to the week—the Tang Prize Award Ceremony on September 25.
Founded in 2012, first awarded in 2014, the Tang Prize has seen a boom in its visibility on the international stage over the past four years. This is in large part due to positive global response and the caliber of the prize laureates, especially the most recent laureates for 2016: Arthur H. Rosenfeld in Sustainable Development for his political and technological contributions to energy efficiency; Emmanuelle Charpentier, Jennifer A. Doudna, and Feng Zhang in Biopharmaceutical Science for the gene-editing system CRISPR/Cas9; William Theodore de Bary in Sinology for his pioneering work on Confucianism; and Louise Arbour in Rule of Law for her protection of the rights of the world’s marginalized.
Although the 2016 Tang Prize will end next week, the biennial prize will continue to extend its influence internationally, said Tang Prize Foundation CEO Jenn-Chuan Chern. This includes participating in several of the world’s biggest conferences in the areas awarded by the prize, such as the International Council for Science, Experimental Biology, and The World Academy of Sciences. For the coming years, the Foundation has arranged for its most recent laureates in Biopharmaceutical Science to share their innovative work in genetic editing. Two of the three laureates, Charpentier and Doudna, will deliver Tang Prize lectures at Experimental Biology in the US in 2017 and 2018; and Zhang will deliver two lectures, at the Federation of European Biochemistry Societies and The International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, scheduled for 2017 and 2018.
The week-long series of events begins with the Reception on September 22, followed by the Laureate Lecture series on September 24, Award Ceremony on September 25, Concert on September 26, and Forum series from September 26 to 28. This year also puts a stronger emphasis on educational promotion and exchange with the youth of Taiwan, as several of the talks will be held at universities and high schools throughout the island.
The Tang Prize Award Ceremony recognizes outstanding, world-changing contributors in the fields most important to the 21st century. This momentous occasion will be streamed live on China Television’s YouTube channel (https://youtu.be/NR4A1OtHwuw) on September 25, 2016, from 2:30 – 4:30 Taiwan Time (GMT+8).