Winners of the 2018 Singapore Prize in Literature and Science

singapore prize

SINGAPORE (AP) — An Indian maker of solar-powered dryers, a soil carbon marketplace and groups that work to make electric car batteries cleaner and restore Andean forests were among the winners of this year’s Singapore prize. Britain’s Prince William, whose Royal Foundation charity launched the prize, awarded it in Singapore on Tuesday. He praised the 15 finalists, including global non-profit WildAid Marine Program, for demonstrating “hope still remains” amid climate change challenges.

The annual award from the President’s Science and Technology Awards is given to upholding scientific excellence and strengthening Singapore’s growing community of scientists. This year’s jury was chaired by Qian Zhou, director of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore, and included violinists Dmytro Udovychenko, Anna Agafia Egholm, and Angela Sin Ying Chan.

Singapore has long been a hub for international business and technology, and is considered one of the world’s most advanced economies. But it’s also a cultural and culinary mecca, where homegrown music styles, festivals, crafts and food are celebrated. The delectable hawker fare has even made it to the United Nations’ list of intangible cultural heritage.

Jeremy Tiang, a New York-based journalist and author of the 2017 book State Of Emergency, has been shortlisted for the 2024 Singapore prize in literature. His novel looks at historical events from a layperson’s perspective, saying that history is not just about what happened, but what it meant to the average person. He says he wrote the book after being inspired by his mother Kamaladevi Pillai’s research into the leftist political movements in Malaysia and Singapore of the 1970s.

In addition to the literary works, there are a variety of professional titles and children’s books in the running for this year’s Singapore prize. To be eligible for the award, a work must be published in one of the country’s four official languages and have been legally deposited with the National Library Board. Applicants must also meet criteria such as clear presentation of the subject matter and relevance to society, as well as an ability to engage readers.

The prize is one of the many Singapore prizes to be awarded this year, with other awards given out by the Singapore Prestige Brand Awards and the Singapore Media Festival. The President’s Scholarship is another, with students who have performed well at the Singapore International Violin Competition receiving scholarships and concert engagements. The awards ceremony was hosted by Emmy award winner Hannah Waddingham, with special guests Cate Blanchett, Lana Condor and Robert Irwin presenting.