Singapore Prize – Winners and Finalists Announced

Solar-powered dryer manufacturers, a soil carbon marketplace and groups that develop cleaner car batteries, restore Andean forests and prevent illegal fishing were among those honored at Tuesday’s 2023 Singapore Prize awards ceremony in Singapore. Prince William of Britain’s Royal Foundation charity launched the 10-year award program back in 2020; his charity officially inaugurated it this year as well. Prince William noted at that ceremony in Singapore that solutions presented by 15 finalists showed “hope does remain” even as climate change worsens.

This year’s prize has expanded to include an inaugural ‘Earthshot Week’ where winners and finalists from past years will gather together in Singapore for events that accelerate their work and promote tangible solutions to repair our planet. Beginning Monday, this event will also host public activations opportunities so members of the public can interact directly with winners and finalists and spark ideas to address challenges our world currently faces.

Professor John Miksic won this year’s Singapore Prize for History with his book Singapore And The Silk Road Of The Sea, 1300-1800 which uses archaeological evidence to challenge the popular perception that Singapore history began with Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival. This is the inaugural time pre-colonial books have won this prestigious prize which was first instituted to commemorate 50 years since independence.

Professor Kishore Mahbubani, NUS Asia Research Institute distinguished fellow who proposed this prize in a Straits Times opinion column, stated that nations are imagined communities and shared imagination – especially historical knowledge – is what unifies societies. He served on the four-member jury that selected Prof Miksic’s book from five shortlisted entries.

There’s something rather magical about having to navigate an obstacle course to find what you want – not that’s any excuse not to try something different! So come join me as I explore more ways than one to get my fill of adventure this winter and springtime! This prize, open to both fiction and nonfiction written in English or translation, includes New York Times bestseller Sembawang by Jeremy Tiang (2018, available here), which follows one family through leftist political movements and mass detentions in Singapore in the 1950s; Leluhur: Singapore’s Kampong Gelam by Hidayah Amin provides insight into a neighbourhood many now view only as tourist spots. It marks a first for fiction and nonfiction writers when one writer is shortlisted for both categories of this prize. Clara Chow’s book State Of Emergency has been nominated in both English fiction and Chinese poetry categories for this year’s award, becoming only one other writer to receive multiple nominations for two separate prizes. Clara will learn who wins come October! The prize’s judging panel comprises leading academics and professionals in literature, science, technology, business law and the social sciences. It is funded by Temasek Trust and administered by National University of Singapore. Visit the Earthshot Week Official Website here for more details and visit here for information about entering this contest. The winner will receive S$10,000 while all finalists will each receive S$20 000 and be invited to present their work during an Earthshot Week event in Singapore later in December.