Tue, May 26, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Tang Prize cultivates student interest

Staff writer, with CNA

The Tang Prize Foundation has teamed up with Taiwanese high schools to launch a program aimed at inspiring student interest in the four fields of the award: sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology and the rule of law.

The program has invited students from 10 high schools to form teams and propose creative events to help young people and the general public gain a better understanding of the four fields.

A total of 12 proposals from 12 teams have been received, and each team is to receive NT$100,000 to help them organize their events, the foundation said.

Among them is a debate on issues related to biopharmaceutical science proposed by a team from National Taichung First Senior High School.

By preparing for and engaging in the debate, students will be able to better understand biopharmaceutical science issues, the foundation said.

Students from Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School are to organize a competition to promote the spirit of the Tang Prize through dance, crosstalk performances and other forms of performance art, the foundation said.

The top three teams are to be recognized on Nov. 21, receiving cash prizes of NT$30,000, NT$20,000 and NT$10,000 respectively.

While the program aims to tap students’ creative sides, its ultimate goal is to help improve their ability to think deeply about social and environmental justice issues, foundation chief executive Chern Jenn-chuan (陳振川) said.

During a visit to Taiwan, former Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, winner of the first Tang Prize in sustainable development, pointed out the problem of low taxation in Taiwan, while the first Tang Prize sinology laureate, Chinese-American historian Yu Ying-shih (余英時), emphasized the importance of humanistic qualities in a democratic society, Chen said.

“These are issues that young people should care about and think about,” he said.

As long as future generations care about sustainable development and social and environmental justice, “they will be more sophisticated in their views about politics and will not be so easily swayed by populism,” he said.

The biennial Tang Prize was established in 2012 by Taiwanese entrepreneur Samuel Yin (尹衍樑) to honor top researchers and leaders in the fields of sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology and rule of law.

The first award ceremony was held in Taipei in September last year.

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