President meets Tang Prize winners

President Tsai Ing-wen (???) has met with winners of this year's Tang Prize -- known as the Asian Nobel Prize -- and their representatives over the past two days to exchange experiences ahead of this weekend's awards ceremony, the Tang Prize Foundation said Saturday.

This year's laureates are Arthur H. Rosenfeld, former commissioner of the California Energy Commission, who won the prize for sustainable development; Jennifer A. Doudna and Feng Zhang (??) of the United States, and Emmanuelle Charpentier of France, who shared the prize for biopharmaceutical science; American scholar William Theodore de Bary, who won the prize for Sinology; and Louise Arbour, a former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who won the prize for rule of law.

All the winners are currently in Taiwan for the awards ceremony scheduled to be held on Sunday, except for 90-year-old Rosenfeld and 97-year-old de Bary, who decided not to travel to Taiwan because of their age.

Rosenfeld is being represented by his protege Ashok Gadgil, a senior scientist at the Energy and Environmental Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

De Bary, meanwhile, is being represented by his daughter Brett de Bary, a professor of modern Japanese literature at Cornell University, and his protege Rachel E. Chung (???), associate director of Columbia University Committee on Asia and the Middle East.

The awards ceremony, to be held at the National Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall in Taipei, will be broadcast live by China Television Company and streamed live on YouTube (

It is part of the Tang Prize Week running from Sept. 22 to 28, during which a series of events have been scheduled to further highlight the achievements of this year's laureates.

They include the Laureate Lectures being held at the Howard Civil Service International House in Taipei on Saturday, during which the winners and their representatives will hold discussions with local experts in their respective fields.

The Tang Prize was founded by Taiwanese entrepreneur Samuel Yin in 2012 to complement the Nobel Prize and recognize achievements in the fields of sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, Sinology and the rule of law.

The first Tang Prizes were awarded in 2014.

The laureates in each of the four prize categories will either individually receive or share (if there is more than one winner in the category) a cash prize of NT$40 million (US$1.27 million) and a research grant of up to NT$10 million to be used within five years.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel