About Presidential Science Prize

2017 Presidential Science Prize Press Release

On November 4, 2015, President Ma Ying-jiu honored three outstanding scientists during the awarding ceremony for the Presidential Science Prize. The ceremony held at the Presidential Mansion recognized the prestigious work done by Dr. Kenneth Kun-Yu Wu (Life Sciences Category), Professor Lin-shan Lee (Applied Sciences), and Prof. Shu-min Huang (Social Sciences).


Dr. Kenneth Kun-Yu Wu (Life Sciences Category)

Dr. Wu made breakthrough discoveries in thrombosis and vascular biology research, especially in the molecular regulation and physiological pathology of prostaglandin. He has not only earned a worldwide recognition through his distinguished accomplishments, but also made significant contributions to the clinical application and biotechnology development. In 2006, he returned to Taiwan from the U.S. to serve as President of National Health Research Institute (2006-2012). He is now Chair Professor at China Medical University, Chair Professor at National Tsing-Hua University, and Distinguished Chair Professor at National Taiwan University. Throughout his career, Prof. Wu has received numerous awards and honors, including the SANOFI Prize (1997) — one of the highest honors in thrombosis research — and the President’s Scholar Award of University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center (2000).

In recognition of his 23 years of work to transform the University of Texas Medical School at Houston into one of the world’s leading medical centers, the city of Houston, Texas declared December 9, 1994 (Dr. Wu’s birthday), as Kenneth Kun-Yu Wu Day.


Professor Lin-shan Lee (Applied Sciences)

Prof. Lee built the research environment under seriously resource-deficient conditions in the College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the National Taiwan University where he taught electrical engineering and computer science for more than 30 years and served as department head and dean. He was one of the very few pioneers in Chinese speech signal processing. Based primarily on the English-centric technologies, he successfully developed a complete set of basic technologies well-suited for Mandarin taking into account the structural features of the language. He performed the earliest and most extensive analysis on computer processing of the complete set of Chinese monosyllables.

Prof. Lee also produced highly recognized work on digital communications theory in the telecommunications field, and played active roles in IEEE Communication Society. He served as the Asia Pacific Regional Chair in 1994-1995 (the first non-Japan chair), and was elected by the global membership as a member out of the 16 on the Board of Governors. In 2014, the IEEE Communication Society awarded him the Exemplary Global Service Award, the highest global service award offered by the society. This award was established in 2006 with only 6 recipients up to 2014.


Prof. Shu-min Huang (Social Sciences)

Academician Huang returned to Taiwan in 2006 to assume the position of Distinguished Research Fellow and Director of the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica. Since then, he has promoted research on Taiwanese Indigenous Peoples and made policy recommendations in order to improve their social condition.

From 2006 to 2008, he was the PI (principal investigator) of Academia Sinica’s Thematic Research Project titled, “Assessment of Social Change and the Impact of Policy among Taiwanese Indigenous Peoples.” This project assembled 15 scholars from diverse fields and institutions to conduct a comprehensive overview and survey among Taiwanese indigenous peoples. The outcome of the research was published in 2010 in an edited volume titled Government Policy and Social Development among Taiwanese Indigenous Peoples, a major treatise that examines current conditions of Taiwanese indigenous peoples.

His research findings have been published in major international journals such as Ethnohistory, Social Science & Medicine, Modern China, Ethnology, American Anthropologist, Anthropology & Medicine, Asian Ethnicity and so on. His first major ethnography on China, The Spiral Road: Change in a Chinese Village through the Eyes of a Party Leader, was based on in-depth fieldwork conducted in post-reform China and published in 1989 (first edition) and 1998 (second edition). The latest edition was reprinted in 2014. This book has been widely used by American universities as a major textbook in courses on contemporary China, and printed more than 30,000 copies, a rare popularity seen among academic books.


The Presidential Science Prize

Established in 2001 and presented every two years, this is the seventh Presidential Science Prize. It symbolizes the highest academic honor made to the most outstanding scientists in the Republic of China (ROC). The Prize also seeks to promote Taiwan’s position in the international science community by recognizing innovative researchers who have made monumental contributions to international research in the fields of Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Social Sciences, and Applied Sciences, especially those scholars whose works have had major impact on the development and applications of these fields in Taiwan. For the selection and awarding of this prize, the President of Academia Sinica has convened a steering committee of fifteen distinguished scientists and related cabinet ministers. Nominees for the Presidential Science Prize are only taken into consideration when (1) they are nominated by a total of three or more scholars from the academicians of Academia Sinica and/or Presidential Science Prize awardees; (2) they are nominated by academic and research institutions and associations and leaders of the Community invited by the Presidential Science Prize Steering Committee. After nomination, four selection committees perform nominee screening tasks. Awardees are chosen only after a careful nomination and selection process.

By personally conferring the Presidential Science Prize, the R.O.C. president gives recognition to scientists for their long-term efforts at conducting scientific research and for cultivating young researchers. This prize also aims to pay respect to outstanding scholars who have made top-notch academic achievements and to have scientific R&D fully benefit people s’ livelihood.

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