2019 Kyoto Prize Laureates announced

Kyoto Prize at Oxford 2019

2019 Kyoto Prize Laureates announced

The Inamori Foundation has announced today the laureates of the 2019 Kyoto Prize, which we will have the pleasure of hosting in May 2020 for the Kyoto Prize at Oxford.

A chemist, an astrophysicist and a stage director will receive the prestigious international award for their contributions to the scientific, cultural and spiritual improvement of society.

  • Dr Ching W Tang in the field of Advanced Technology (Material Science and Engineering)


IAS Bank of East Asia Professor, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Professor Emeritus, University of Rochester

Pioneering contributions to the birth of high-efficiency organic light-emitting diodes and their applications

Dr Tang studied light emission processes in electrically-driven organic materials and invented a new device structure in which two carefully-selected materials were stacked, allowing for high-efficiency light emission at low drive voltages. This pioneering work has led to the practical use of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and their widespread application in displays and lighting.


  • Dr James Gunn in the field of Basic Sciences (Earth and Planetary Sciences, Astronomy and Astrophysics)


Emeritus Eugene Higgins Professor of Astrophysical Science, Princeton University  

Outstanding contributions to the elucidation of cosmic history based on a large-scale wide-field observation

Dr Gunn led the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which produced a three-dimensional digital cosmic map encompassing a broad region. He played a leading role in the project, including planning, instrument development, and data analysis, and contributed to the elucidation of the evolutionary history of the universe. He also published many pioneering astrophysical theories. Through these achievements, he has contributed significantly to the understanding of the universe.


  • Mrs Ariane Mnouchkine in the field of Arts and Philosophy (Theatre, Cinema)

Stage Director

Founder and Director, Théâtre du Soleil

A stage director who has innovated theatrical expressions through her original masterpieces for over half a century

Mrs Mnouchkine, the founder and director of the Théâtre du Soleil, has been continuously producing masterpieces with historical and political themes. Referring to traditional performances of both the East and the West, she has been innovating theatrical expressions.  Her collaborative creations are based on the methodology of her unique theatrical organisation, which eschews hierarchical order.


The Kyoto Prize Presentation Ceremony will be held in Kyoto, Japan on November 10. Each laureate will receive a diploma, the Kyoto Prize medal (20K gold), and prize money of 100 million yen. Following the ceremony, the laureates will travel to San Diego in March 2019 for the Kyoto Prize Symposium, before travelling to Oxford.

The second Kyoto Prize at Oxford will take place on 12-13 May 2020 and we look forward to welcoming Dr Tang, Dr Gunn and Mrs Mnouchkine to Oxford and the Blavatnik School of Government.