On the 35th Kyoto Prize, chemist Dr. Ching W. Tang, astrophysicist Dr. James Gunn, and founder of Théâtre du Soleil Ariane Mnouchkine received the award in the categories of “Advanced Technology”, “Basic Sciences” and “Arts and Philosophy” in the ancient Japanese imperial capital. This prize is considered one of the most important international awards for the lifetime achievements of dignitaries in science and culture, in addition to the Nobel Prize.
Each year, the Inamori Foundation awards this highly prestigious honor on November 10th in a formal ceremony at the Kyoto International Conference Center. All three award winners accepted the prize in the ancient Japanese imperial capital in the presence of Princess Takamado, a member of the Imperial Family of Japan, and more than one thousand international guests from the fields of business, politics, and culture. The Kyoto Prize includes a certificate, the Kyoto Prize medal made of , and prize money of 100 million yen (roughly EUR 828,000) for each laureate.
Kyoto Prize: An Honor with Tradition
The Kyoto Prize was established in 1984 by Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of fine ceramic components for the technology industry based in Kyoto. In the past 34 years, laureates included important dignitaries such as philosopher Jürgen Habermas, choreographer Pina Bausch as well as Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake. Physicist Dr. Michel Mayor, Kyoto Prize laureate in the cateogory “Basic Sciences” in 2015, just recently received the Nobel Prize of Physics. Besides medical scientist Dr. Tasuku Honju and molecular biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi, Dr. Mayor is the 11th laureate of the Kyoto Prize who was also awarded the Nobel Prize.
The Kyoto Prize laureates 2019
Dr. Ching W. Tang, China – IAS Bank of East Asia Professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology as well as Professor Emeritus an der University of Rochester
Dr. Tang studied light emission processes in electrically-driven organic materials and invented a new device structure in which two carefully-selected materials were stacked, alloweing for high-efficiency light emission at low drive voltages. This pioneering work has led to the practical use of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and their widespread application in displays and lighting.
Dr. James E. Gunn, USA – Emeritus Eugene Higgins Professor of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University
Dr. James Gunn led the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which produced a three-dimensional digital cosmic map encompassing a broad region. He played a leading role in the project, including planning, instrument development, and data analysis, and contributed to the elucidation of the evolutionary history of the universe. He also published many pioneering astrophysical theories. Through these achievements, he has provided us a significant understanding of the universe.
Ariane Mnouchkine, Frankreich – Founder and director of Théâtre du Soleil
Mrs. Ariane Mnouchkine, founder and director of the Théâtre du Soleil, has been continuously producing masterpieces with historical and political themes. Referring to traditional performances of both the East and the West, she has been innovating theatrical expressions through her collaborative creations based on the methodology of her unique theatrical organization which eschews hierarchical order.
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