UC San Diego: Kyoto Prize Laureates and Scholars Recognized in Hybrid Gala

On March 30, the 21st annual Kyoto Prize Symposium acknowledged this year’s distinguished Kyoto Prize laureates and scholars in an innovative hybrid gala, a mix of in-person and virtual presentations live-streamed for free as part of a week of festivities. Noted members of the UC San Diego community appeared on stage or in attendance, including Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla and others.

Every year, the Kyoto Prize, presented by Japan’s nonprofit Inamori Foundation, pays tribute to some of the most important and influential thinkers in technology, science and the arts. It is supported by the Kyoto Symposium Organization, a San Diego-based 501(c)3 nonprofit established in partnership with UC San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University. Along with the three laureates, the Kyoto Symposium organization also awards six scholarships totaling $10,000 to high school students from the San Diego-Baja region.

“The Inamori Foundation and UC San Diego share similar missions,” said Chancellor Khosla. “We are both committed to scientific progress. We are both committed to advancing society. And we are both committed to solving complex issues through multidisciplinary research. World-renowned faculty from our two institutions have worked together across multiple disciplines to forward scientific discovery. So, together we are driving innovations in science, medicine and technology.”

This year’s laureates are Professor Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, a computer scientist and dean of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences at Tsinghua University; Professor Robert G. Roeder, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Rockefeller University; and Professor Bruno Latour, a philosopher and professor emeritus at the Paris Institute of Political Studies.

This year’s scholarship recipients each wrote a winning essay on one of the three laureates. The scholarship winners are:

Sheyla Rodriguez, Chula Vista High School
Raj Pabari, Classical Academy High School
Emerson Utgaard, Patrick Henry High School
Raúl Carmona, CETYS
Camia Sánchez, Instituto México de Baja California
Deigo Velázquez, Preparatoria Federal Lázaro Cárdenas
Laureates and scholars were honored in video presentations that showcased the Kyoto Prize Gala’s innovative mix of virtual and in-person formats.

Over 31 years, the Kyoto Prize has recognized more than 114 laureates representing 18 nations, some of whom went on to receive the Nobel Prize. The winnings include academic honors, a gold medal and a cash gift worth over $800,000 in each category, making it Japan’s highest private award for global achievement.

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