Nationwide event for women scientists kicks off in Tainan (Taiwan Today)

  • Nationwide event for women scientists kicks off in Tainan
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The Gro Brundtland Week of Women in Sustainable Development kicked off March 12 at National Cheng Kung University in southern Taiwan’s Tainan City with the objective of fostering women scientists in the fields of sustainable development and public health.

Former Norwegian Prime Minister and World Health Organization Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland was awarded the Tang Prize in the Sustainable Development category in 2014. She used the NT$10 million (US$323,300) research grant from the honor to organize the Gro Brundtland Week of Women in Sustainable Development as well as an award under her name that recognizes five women scientists from Taiwan and four developing countries over three consecutive years beginning in 2016.

Established by Taiwan entrepreneur Samuel Yin in December 2012, the biennial Tang Prize, considered the Nobel Prize of Asia, takes its name from the Tang dynasty (618-907). Winners in four categories receive or share a cash prize of NT$40 million as well as a research grant of up to NT$10 million. In addition to the ceremony, Tang Prize Week also features a series of forums to highlight the achievements of each year’s recipients.

Organized by NCKU, this year’s weeklong event will include forums and discussions in addition to a ceremony to honor Gro Brundtland Award winners. Former U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, who was invited to speak at the opening ceremony, addressed attendees with a talk on public health as a human right, with an emphasis on mental health care.

Researcher Yu Su-may from Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s foremost research institution, National Central University professor Ma Kuo-fong and Fumiko Kasuga, global hub director for Japan-based research organization Future Earth, are also scheduled to speak at the event on topics ranging from food production to earthquake disaster management. Discussions will be held in Taipei City, Hualien County, Taichung City and Tainan City in northern, eastern, central and southern Taiwan, respectively.

The Gro Brundtland Award recipients this year are Yen Yi-chun from Taiwan; Fathiah Zakham from Yemen; Farah Fathima from India; Phyllis Awor from Uganda and Wafa Al-Jamal from Jordan. They will be presented their awards at a ceremony in Taipei City March 17, the final day of the event. (KWS-E)