Reception held in Taipei for Tang Prize winners (Focus Taiwan)

  • 2018 Tang Prize Laureates
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Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) A cocktail party was held at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei on Wednesday evening to welcome the winners of the 2018 Tang Prize.

Speaking at the reception, Tang Prize Founder Samuel Yin (尹衍樑) said he founded the international-level award to reward outstanding contributions in the areas of sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology, and rule of law to bring about positive change in the global community and create a brighter future for humanity.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who was invited to address the gathering, said that the Tang Prize has become established internationally and can contribute to society.

As mayor of Taipei, Ko said, he will do all he can to support the activities related to the Tang Prize.

It was the first gathering of the 2018 awardees since they were named in June and it marked the start of Tang Prize Week, which will run until Sept. 28 with a series of forums and speeches highlighting the laureates' achievements.

During the week, the laureates are expected to give a series of lectures at universities across the country, according to the Tang Prize Foundation.

Seven of this year's laureates are now in Taiwan for the activities, which will include the award ceremony at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei on Sept. 21, while the eighth awardee has sent a representative.

It is the first time that there are as many as eight awardees since the biennial award was launched in 2014 to honor top researchers in the fields of sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology, and the rule of law.

This year, James Edward Hansen and Veerabhadran Ramanathan will share the award for Sustainable Development; Yoshinobu Shiba and Stephen Owen the prize for Sinology; and Tony Hunter, Brian Druker and John Mendelsohn the one for Biopharmaceutical Science. Joseph Raz is the sole winner of the prize for the Rule of Law.

John Mendelsohn has sent his son Jeff Mendelsohn to accept the award on his behalf.

Meanwhile, an exhibition has been mounted at the reception venue and includes items such as Tang Prize medals and certificates, and gifts presented to Tang Prize laureates, including a pair of autographed running shoes that Nike founder Phil Knight gave to Druker.

Druker is director of the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health and Science University, which was started with a US$500 million donation by Knight.

The shoes signify the long way to go before a cure can be found for cancer, according to the Tang Prize Foundation. 

(By Chen Chih-chung, Elizabeth Hsu and William Yen)