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2024 Kyoto Prize Symposium to Honor Laureates in Arts and Philosophy, Basic Sciences and Advanced Technology


Newswise — The University of California San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University will co-host the 23rd annual Kyoto Prize Symposium on March 13 and 14. The events highlight the achievements of the 2023 (38th) annual laureates of the Kyoto Prize, Japan’s highest honor for global visionaries who have made scientific and cultural advancements that benefit humankind.

The 2023Kyoto Prize Laureates are Elliott H. Lieb for Basic Sciences, the late Ryuzo Yanagimachi for Advanced Technology and Nalini Malani for Arts and Philosophy. Each laureate will be featured in free public lectures. Online registration is now open for the Kyoto Prize Symposium’s laureate presentations:https://bit.ly/KyotoPrizeSymposium2024

Additionally, a black-tie fundraising gala to support the Kyoto Prize scholarships will be held on March 13 at San Diego La Jolla Marriott — to purchase tickets, click here (or visit https://kyotoprize-us.org/about-1).

The Kyoto Prize is an international award of Japanese origin, presented to those who have made significant contributions to “the development of science and civilization” and “the enrichment of the human spirit.” San Diego is honored to be the symposium’s host city to these renowned laureates, who have made influential contributions to their respective fields. Every year, attendees benefit from the laureates’ inspiring lectures and presentations.

The late Dr. Kazuo Inamori established the nonprofit Inamori Foundation in 1984 based on his life philosophy and founded the Kyoto Prize as its primary activity. Since the inception of San Diego’s Kyoto Prize Symposium in 2002, local events have generated more than $4.8 million in educational funding and college scholarships to the San Diego/Baja region. Inamori, who founded Kyocera Corporation in 1959, established San Diego-based Kyocera International, Inc. just 10 years later as his first subsidiary company outside of Japan. Today, the Kyocera Group includes nearly 300 companies and more than 80,000 employees worldwide.

Elliott H. Lieb is the 2023 Kyoto Prize Laureate for Basic SciencesLieb is a professor of mathematics and Higgins Professor of Physics emeritus at Princeton University. He established a foundation for mathematical research in fields such as physics, chemistry, and quantum information science using many-body physics, while making significant contributions to mathematical analysis as well. Among many other applications, his research supports next-generation technologies in quantum computing which will harness the laws of quantum mechanics to solve problems too complex for today’s computers. Lieb is a recipient of many global prizes including his 1992 Max Planck Medal of the German Physical Society and his 2022 APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research from the American Physical Society.

“Elliott Lieb has taken the field of mathematical physics to a new level, by showing that it is possible to prove rigorous mathematical results on questions of fundamental significance.  His body of work is far more than a series of theorems that illuminate the technical minutiae usually neglected by the ‘physicist in the street’,” said Nigel Goldenfeld, Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor in Physics at the University of California San Diego.  “Instead, he has addressed, with the beauty and precision of rigorous mathematics, grounded in the laws of physics, such profound questions as how materials change phase and why matter itself is stable — why don’t atoms simply collapse in on themselves?  His opus has transformed our understanding of the physical world and, as with his work on quantum information theory, has frequently been uncannily prescient and decades ahead of the eventual applications of his results.  With his extraordinary productivity, his generous and unstinting focus on pedagogy in his field, and the remarkable breadth of problems that have captured his attention over the past 60 years, Elliott Lieb has reminded us what it means to be a scholar, a scientist and a human being filled with natural curiosity.

Ryuzo Yanagimachi is the 2023 Kyoto Prize Laureate for Advanced TechnologyAs a professor at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Yanagimachi made revolutionary contributions to both obstetric medicine and mammalian embryology through his research and development of assisted reproductive technologies. In particular, Yanagimachi’s work led to practical methods of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) at a time of declining birthrates in many nations — offering new possibilities to couples who would otherwise be unable to have children. A recipient of over two dozen awards, Yanagimachi received the Pioneer Award for Embryo Transfer and Reproduction Research (2000 & 2012) and was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences in 2001. He died at age 95 in September 2023 and was awarded the Kyoto Prize posthumously. Dr. Steven Ward will provide a presentation about Yanagimachi’s life and work.

“Dr. Ryuzo Yanagimachi’s accomplishments offer an important reminder of the incredible synergy of fundamental research coupled with technology development. His work has touched many lives via a wide range of breakthroughs in reproductive biology – breakthroughs that were possible thanks to his tireless dedication to both fundamental research and technology development. His team’s innovations in cloning have also improved livestock reproduction and created new opportunities to protect endangered species through breeding programs,” said Ester Kwon, associate professor in the Shu Chien-Gene Lay Department of Bioengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. “I think students at UC San Diego and around the world will be inspired by Dr. Yanagimachi’s lifelong pursuits that created real world solutions through the convergence of basic research and technology development.” 

Nalini Malani is the 2023 Kyoto Prize Laureate in Arts & Philosophy. She is an internationally renowned artist who specializes in a broad range of media, including video, projection, painting and drawing installations. Malani’s childhood experience as a refugee during the partition of India and Pakistan greatly influenced her artistic trajectory, which has focused on exploring the politics of national identity, confronting hierarchal society in India and giving voice to the voiceless. Creating dynamic visual stories, she has expanded the possibility of pictorial surface through immersive shadow play and layering images into ephemeral installations. Her works have garnered attention worldwide, most recently in a solo exhibition that concluded in June 2023 at The National Gallery, London, with works in the permanent collections of prestigious institutions such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Centre Pompidou in France. She received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute (2010) and was the first non-Western artist to receive the prestigious Joan Miró Prize (2019).

“Widely considered the pioneer of video art in India, Nalini Malani has dedicated her career to creating monumental visual stories that place marginalized voices at the forefront and vigorously challenge cultural stereotypes,” said Michael Trigilio, director of UC San Diego’s Suraj Israni Center for Cinematic Arts. “Malani courageously forged a way for women artists in India in the 1960s during a time when such a career path was inconceivable; rather than focus on her story, her dynamic video projections and installations have centered on dismantling the restraints of a patriarchal society while promoting the freedom of women to pursue their intellectual, political and humanitarian goals. In a word, her efforts to reflect the possibility of a better world are nothing short of visionary.”

ABOUT THE KYOTO PRIZE:

The Kyoto Prize is presented each year by Japan’s nonprofit Inamori Foundation to individuals and groups worldwide who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to the betterment of society, in “Advanced Technology,” “Basic Sciences,” and “Arts and Philosophy.” The prize consists of academic honors, a gold medal and a cash gift of 100 million yen (more than $750,000) per category, making it Japan’s highest private award for global achievement.

ABOUT THE INAMORI FOUNDATION: 

The Inamori Foundation is a nonprofit established in Kyoto, Japan, in 1984 by the late Dr. Kazuo Inamori, whose career included founding Kyocera Corp. and serving as honorary advisor to both KDDI Corp. and Japan Airlines. Inamori created the Kyoto Prize in reflection of his belief that people have no higher calling than to strive for the greater good of humankind and society, and that the future of humanity can be assured only when there is a balance between scientific progress and spiritual depth.

ABOUT THE KYOTO SYMPOSIUM ORGANIZATION: 

The Kyoto Symposium Organization is a San Diego-based 501(c)3 nonprofit established to support the Kyoto Prize Symposium and Kyoto Scholarship programs with the Inamori Foundation and co-hosts University of California San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University. Since 2002, the symposium has generated more than $4.8 million for scholarships, fellowships and other educational opportunities in the San Diego-Baja region.

 




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