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What is the Common Factor Between Prizes for Science and Technology?

DR. Markku Ellilä, CEO Technology Academy Finland

Global technology and science prizes are crucial advocates of research-based knowledge. Millennium Technology Prize winners joined Nobel Laureates, Fields Medalists, and a Turing award winner in the Global Young Scientist Summit in Singapore. Markku Ellilä, the CEO of Technology Academy Finland shares his key takeaways from the summit.

The Global Young Scientist Summit aims to inspire the next generation of scientists and remind us of the importance of global and inter-disciplinary collaboration. I had the pleasure to participate in the summit in Singapore in January 2022 to introduce the Millennium Technology Prize to young scientists and spread the word about the 2024 Prize nomination round, starting on 1st of April 2023.

“Science is global,” said Professor Didier Queloz, laureate of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2019 in his keynote speech. The event as a whole was a manifestation of that phrase. The bonds and networks forged between the participants, both speakers and the audience, contribute to bringing science and technology forward in the years to come.

The speakers included 14 Nobel laureates, three Millennium Technology Prize winners, two mathematicians who had been awarded the Fields Medal, and one awardee of the Turing Award.

The lectures covered a diverse range  of scientific and technological fields, including “Next Generation DNA Sequencing” by Professor Sir David Klenerman, the winner of the 2020 Millennium Technology Prize, “Chiral Spin Textures on the Racetrack” by Professor Stuart Parkin, the winner in 2014, and “From nanotechnology to mRNA therapies and what’s to come: How overcoming scepticism and barriers led to new vaccines and ways to tackle global health challenges” by Dr Robert Langer, the winner in 2008. One notable highlight of the event was a fascinating panel discussion on science communication and especially, Oxford Professor Alison Woollard’s thoughts on the topic.

We need to raise awareness of research-based knowledge

The awards represented at GYSS are all part of a global communications effort to raise public awareness of research-based knowledge. The different awards complement each other by covering different fields. The Nobel Prize is awarded for achievements in specific fields of science, the Millennium Technology Prize for breakthrough innovations in technology, the Fields Medal for mathematics, and the Turing Award for computer science.

All the prizes highlight the importance of high-quality research, fighting disinformation and conspiracy theories. By honoring the achievements of individuals who devote their lives to unraveling the mysteries of the physical world and enhancing the quality of life, these awards celebrate the heroic efforts of scientists.  When we share these success stories, the general public can better appreciate the value of investing taxpayer money in research.

We must keep making noise about research-based knowledge and come together to create and sustain the the global community of science and technology.

Read more about Millennium Technology Prize winners

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