Nobel laureate voices support for Tang Prize (Focus Taiwan)

  • Phillip Allen Sharp, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
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Taipei, Oct. 13 (CNA) Phillip Allen Sharp, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, voiced his support Wednesday for the Tang Prize, a Taiwanese counterpart to the Nobel Prize, saying that such awards should continue to be held to boost its global visibility.

During a meeting with Tang Prize Foundation CEO Chern Jenn-chuan (陳振川) in Boston, Sharp encouraged the Tang Prize Foundation to make more efforts to extend its global reach, a move that he said will allow the world to have a better understanding that Taiwan has set up such world class awards.

Sharp, who served as one of the members of nomination and selection for the first Tang Prize awards, told Chern that the foundation should pay more visits to outstanding scientists in the U.S., Europe and Asia to further polish its image.

In addition, the American geneticist and molecular biologist said the foundation should invite more prominent scholars from around the world to participate in the nomination and selection committee of the biennial Tang Prize.

In response, Chern expressed gratitude to Sharp for his support.

The Tang Prize was set up by Taiwanese entrepreneur Samuel Yin (尹衍樑) in December 2012 to honor outstanding academicians in the fields of sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology, and rule of Law.

Sharp suggested that the Tang Prize Foundation should publicize the awards in the global mainstream media such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe, while promoting the prize in world class journals, including Science and Nature.

In addition, Sharp said the Tang Prize Foundation should work with top research institutions, which is expected to further advance the international status of the awards.

Scientist magazine recently reported several international academic awards, including the Tang Prize.

After years of efforts by the Tang Prize Foundation to promote the awards, more and more people around the world have been made aware of the awards, and such efforts should continue, he said.

Sharp said that the government should help support the Tang Prize, but should not intervene in the selection process, so that the independence of the awards can be maintained.

Currently, Sharp is a professor at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

(By Timothy J. Hwang and Frances Huang)