China’s 2017 Future Science Prize announced in Beijing

On September 9, the recipients of Future Science Prize, known as China’s version of Nobel Prize, were announced in Beijing. This is the second session of the conference. Shi Yigong— professor and structural biologist from Tsinghua University, Pan Jianwei—professor and chief scientist for Mozi quantum communications satellite from University of Science and Technology of China, and Xu Chenyang—professor from Peking University respectively won Life Science Award, Materials Science Award, and Mathematics and Computer Science Award, each worth $1 million.

A document shows that the Future Science Prize established in 2016 is the first non-governmental science award initiated by a group of scientists and business leaders. The winners of these rewards are announced each year. In the future, the awards will not be the preserve of Chinese nationals. Scientists who have completed innovative and far-reaching research in Greater China (including mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan) are entitled to receive the awards.

Shi Yigong was recognized for his elucidation of high-resolution structures of the eukaryotic spliceosome, revealing the active-site and the molecular-level mechanism of this key complex in mRNA maturation. For his efforts, he was awarded the Life Science Award.

Pan Jianwei, the recipient of Materials Science Award, led his research team to develop the quantum optical technology, including high homogeneous single photon source, ultra-high brightness multi-photon entanglement, independent photon quantum interference, linear optical quantum logic operation, enabling secure quantum communication for metro and inter-city ranges based on fiber and quantum key distribution of trusted relays, and practical quantum communication using interdisciplinary scales based on quantum key distribution based on satellites and free space platforms. These developments will finally result in a practical quantum network that connects China and the world.

The jury holds that Xu Chenyang, winner of the Mathematics and Computer Science Award, has made a profound contribution to algebraic geometry, especially in the birational geometry and singularity and its dual complex topology.

In 2016, Dennis Lo—a professor from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Xue Qikun—professor from Tsinghua University were the first recipients of the Future Science Awards. In 2017, the “Mathematics and Computer Science Award” join the rank of the Future Science Awards.

The review system of the Future Science Awards mainly refers to the Nobel Prize. First, the Scientists Committee recommend international experts as nominators. Then, after candidates are selected, international experts in relevant fields will evaluate the work of those candidates. Finally, the Scientists Committee casts votes to decide the recipients according to the evaluation. A supervisory board made up of Gao Xiqing from Tsinghua University School of Law and KPMG supervises the whole process.

The current Scientists Committee is made up of 15 well-renowned scientists, including Ding Hong from the Institute of Physics CAS, He Chuan from the University of Chicago, Li Feifei from Stanford University, Li Kai from Princeton University, Li Jianshu from HKUST, Luo Liqun from Stanford University, Ji Xiangdong from Tsung-Dao Lee Research Institute, Rao Yi from Peking University, Tian Gang from Peking University, Wang Xiaodong from National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, Wen Xiaogang from MIT, Xia Zhihong from Northwestern University,Yang Peidong from University of California, Berkeley, and Yu Jinquan from the Scripps Research Institute.

Each award of the Future Science Awards is worth 6.8 million RMB (about $1 million), sponsored by four sponsors. The sponsors for Life Science Award are Ding Jian, Robin Li, Neil Shen, and Zhang Lei. The sponsors for the Materials Science Award are Deng Feng, Wu Yajun, Wu Ying, and Xu Xiaoping. The sponsors for Mathematics and Computer Science Award are Ding Lei, Jiang Nanchun, Pony Ma, and Wang Qiang.


This article originally appeared in TechWeb News and was translated by Pandaily.

Click here to read the original Chinese article.