The Singapore Prize and the NUS History Prize

Gambling Apr 14, 2024

Amid a booming global economy and tumultuous political landscape, there are still ways for Singapore to shine. One of those is the President’s Science and Technology Awards (PSTA) which honours scientists who are pushing the frontiers of research and innovation. This year, a record number of individuals and teams have been recognised for their contributions, with the highest achievers receiving the prestigious President’s Science and Technology Medal.

During his visit to the city-state last Friday, he awarded this medal, which is a symbol of national pride, to those whose “innovations and discoveries have improved our lives”. Originally known as the President’s Science and Technology Award, it was elevated to Presidential status in 2009.

But the awards are not only about the science. They are also about building connections that will help local companies to expand into other markets. They are also about celebrating the nation’s scientific achievement, and fostering a community of world-class researchers.

Ahead of the PSTA ceremony, PM Lee spoke at length about the importance of a vibrant research and innovation community in Singapore. He lauded the many specialised research institutes in the country, which are driving innovation in different sectors. He also acknowledged the efforts of the people behind them, who are working tirelessly to keep Singapore on the path towards becoming a world-class economy and a top science and technology hub.

The stories of ordinary Singaporeans are taking centre stage in this year’s shortlist for the NUS History Prize, with novels and nonfiction work with a personal slant vying against historical tomes. This is a departure from the traditional view of history as a record of past events, according to NUS Asia Research Institute distinguished fellow Kishore Mahbubani, who mooted the prize in an opinion piece published in April 2014.

One of this year’s finalists is Leluhur: Singapore’s Kampong Gelam (2019, available here) by Hidayah Amin, which sheds light on the heritage neighbourhood of Gedung Kuning (Yellow Mansion). Using photographs and oral histories from the community, this book shows that Kampong Glam was once a bustling commercial hub where residents lived, worked and played.

In other news, Prince William has announced the winners of his Earthshot Prize in Singapore. The heir to the British throne, who visited the country for the second time in 2020 with his wife, praised the 15 finalists – from an Indian maker of solar dryers to the global non-profit WildAid Marine Programme – for demonstrating that “hope does remain” amid environmental challenges. The finalists were honoured at a glitzy ceremony Tuesday night where the heir to the British throne wore an old dark green blazer by eco-friendly fashion designer Alexander McQueen. He was the guest of honour for the event that drew Singapore ministers and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to Changi Airport. They gathered under a 40-meter tall Rain Vortex waterfall that was lit up in a bright green colour to mark the occasion.

By admin