2016 Kyoto Prize Presentation Ceremony

2016 Kyoto Prize Presentation Ceremony

2016 Kyoto Prize Presentation Ceremony

Last week, Dr Takeo Kanade, Dr Tasuku Honjo, and Dr Martha Craven Nussbaum were officially awarded the 2016 Kyoto Prize by the Inamori foundation for their contributions towards the betterment of the global community and mankind.

The three Laureates and honoured guests gathered in Kyoto for the prize ceremony, which also featured the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, a celebratory Noh performance, and singing by an elementary school choir.

On receiving the prize Dr Tasuku Honjo, who won the award in the Life Sciences (Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Neurobiology) award, said; “I will be very grateful if my receipt of the Kyoto Prize serves to provide profound inspiration to young scientists involved in basic research, which requires painstaking and continuous effort.”

Dr Takeo Kanade received the award for pioneering contributions, both theoretical and practical, to computer vision and robotics, while Dr Martha Craven Nussbaum was recognised for her role as a philosopher, and her work developing a new theory of justice advocating the 'capabilities approach'.  

The following day, the Laureates delivered individual Commemorative Lectures, which provided an opportunity to hear about their lives and research. The final day saw in-depth workshops that featured not only the Laureates, but also experts in their respective fields.

The Blavatnik School of Government’s Chief Operating Officer, Calum Miller, was in attendance, and said; “I was delighted to attend the award of the 2016 Kyoto Prizes, and honoured to meet Dr Inamori and the three Laureates. It was a very impressive ceremony. The Laureates’ scholarship is remarkable but what really struck me was their humility and passion for their research. Dr Honjo, for example, dedicated his award to the 600 mentors, collaborators, students and technicians he has calculated have supported his work over 50 years.”

The next event of the Laureates’ year is the Kyoto Prize Symposium in San Diego, before they travel to Oxford in May 2017 for the inaugural Kyoto Prize at Oxford event.

“I am really excited about the Kyoto Prize at Oxford,” said Mr Miller. “We are welcoming three wonderful Laureates whose research areas could not be more topical: the computer vision that enables driverless cars; the immunotherapy that is transforming cancer treatment; and why we should fight for the rights of all people to fulfil their human capabilities. I think people in Oxford, and further afield, will be truly captivated.”