Episode Description

The first ever winners of Taiwan’s own Tang Prize are slated to be announced later this week and on this episode of Taiwan Talk we discuss the award, which starting this year will grant bigger cash prizes than the Nobel.

Endowed by Taiwanese businessman Samuel Yin, the new biennial award will grant a cash prize of 40 million NT, along with an additional 10 million NT for further research in four different categories: sustainable development, bio-pharmaceutical science, sinology, and rule of law.

Guest: Tang Prize Foundation CEO Jesse Chern (陳振川). He’s also a Distinguished Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering at National Taiwan University.

The winner of each category will be named one at a time starting this Wednesday and going until this Saturday. You can learn more about the group at their website.

The prize is committed to encouraging and inspiring brilliant minds to explore new perspectives and insights to better the world.


Go to the Tang Prize website to see all the 2014 winners:

Sustainable Development: Gro Harlem Brundtland

Biopharmaceutical Science: James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo

Sinology: Yu Ying-Shih

Rule of Law: Albie Sachs

How to listen

You can download episodes of this program online at the ICRT website and on the show’s iTunes page. New episodes are added every Wednesday.

You can learn more about Taiwan Talk at the show page here.

Recommended reading
  • The announcement of the prize caught a few international headlines back in January of 2013. Here’s a few useful article that gives an overview of the prize and some background on Samuel Yin. And for the direct route – here’s the press release they’re all quoting.
  • Here’s the text from an interview with Samuel Yin about the Tang Prize and how it will be different from other prestigious research awards.
  • A pair of legal professors invited to Taiwan by the Tang Prize Foundation say that the award will lead to advances in legal studies that will have a impact on the governance and economic health of countries around the world.
  • The Tang Prize Foundation also granted awards for designing the medal and certificate for the prize. This article has got some snazzy pictures of the awards and some background on their design.
  • Very recently one of the council members behind Hong Kong’s Shaw Prize — another entrepreneur-funded high value prize granted for research — defended the prize against criticism that such prizes could have a number of negative effects on research. And here’s a commentary on the same topic that fleshes out the criticism of major research prizes a bit more.
  • Here’s a youtube video set up by the Tang Prize organizers with a series of videos about the prize.
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