Day: July 8, 2024

Singapore Prize 2023 Finalists

The Singapore Prize recognises outstanding works of literature published in any of the four official languages – Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil. Founded in 2014 by an endowed gift, it is administered by the Department of History at NUS. Its aim is to cast a wide net, open to books from any nationality, that explore how Singaporeans and Singapore’s history have shaped the nation today.

The President’s Science and Technology Awards (PSTA) were first given out in 2009, and are the highest honours bestowed on scientists and engineers in Singapore. The award winners are selected by a distinguished panel of representatives from government agencies, academia and public research institutes, as well as industry partners, in recognition of their outstanding contributions to upholding research excellence in Singapore.

British Prince William will be in Singapore this week to witness how the city-state has become a “hub for innovation” across Southeast Asia. He’ll attend the Earthshot Prize ceremony, recognizing organizations from around the world that have developed innovative solutions to combat climate change and protect the planet.

From a maker of solar-powered dryers to a soil carbon marketplace, these 2023 finalists are working to create a better future for all. They’re helping people save energy and water, restoring Andean forests, and deterring illegal wildlife poaching. The heir to the British throne, who launched the 10-year award program in 2020 with his Royal Foundation charity, says the solutions offered by all 15 finalists show that hope does remain as global warming continues to affect the planet.

During his visit, the prince will also see how Singaporeans have embraced innovation in their daily lives. He’ll try his hand at dragon boating and meet with local entrepreneurs who are working to make electric car batteries cleaner, restore Andean forests and reduce illegal wildlife trading, which is estimated to cost the planet $20 billion annually.

Professor Gertjan Medema, a microbiologist at the KWR Water Research Institute, was named the winner of this year’s Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize. The 62-year-old helped pioneer wastewater-based epidemiology, which uses detection processes to identify COVID-19 in human sewage and tapwater samples. This approach, used in conjunction with the water agency PUB, allowed health workers to quickly respond to COVID-19 outbreaks during the pandemic. Medema says his prize is a tribute to the hard work of many colleagues who “put their heads together to collect data for our society during the pandemic.” His work will be used by governments worldwide. “I’m very humbled and grateful for the recognition,” he said. “I believe this is just the start and I’m sure our collective efforts will continue to strengthen our resilience against water-borne threats.” Read more about the finalists here.