Award Presentation Ceremony 2017 Press Release

26 Sep 2017

Tuesday, 26 September 2017. At today’s presentation ceremony of The Shaw Prize at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Honourable Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Chief Executive of the HKSAR, People’s Republic of China, presented the awards to the five Laureates.

After several months of deliberation, the international prize committee selected the Shaw Laureates and announced the results at the press conference on 23 May 2017.

Details of this year’s Shaw Laureates are as follows:

The Shaw Prize in Astronomy is awarded to

Simon D M White
Director, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Germany

for his contributions to astronomy in the infrared to submillimetre spectral range. He detected the cosmic far-infrared background from past star-forming galaxies, and proposed aromatic hydrocarbon molecules as a constituent of interstellar matter. With the Planck space mission, he has dramatically advanced our knowledge of cosmology in the presence of interstellar matter foregrounds.

The Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine is awarded in equal shares to

Ian R Gibbon
Visiting Researcher, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, USA and

Ronald D Vale
Professor, Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology Department, University of California, San Francisco and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA

for their discovery of microtubule-associated motor proteins: engines that power cellular and intracellular movements essential to the growth, division, and survival of human cells.

The Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences is awarded in equal shares to

János Kollár
Professor, Department of Mathematics, Princeton University, USA and

Claire Voisin
Professor, Algebraic Geometry Chair, Collège de France, France

for their remarkable results in many central areas of algebraic geometry, which have transformed the field and led to the solution of long-standing problems that had appeared out of reach.

The Shaw Prize was established under the auspices of Mr Run Run Shaw in November 2002 to honour individuals, regardless of race, nationality, gender and religious belief, who have recently achieved significant breakthrough in academic and scientific research or applications and whose work has resulted in a positive and profound impact on mankind. The Shaw Prize consists of three annual prizes: Astronomy, Life Science and Medicine, and Mathematical Sciences, each bearing a monetary award of US$1.2 million. This is the fourteenth year that the Prize has been awarded.

Highlight of the 2017 ceremony will be released worldwide via satellite transmission between Hong Kong time 2230–2300 (GMT 1430–1500). Photographs will be uploaded the same day at Hong Kong time 2230 (GMT 1430) on the website The ceremony programme will be broadcast on HKTVB Jade and Pearl Channels on 30 September at Hong Kong time 2230–2300 and on 2 October at Hong Kong time 1900–1925 respectively.

26 September 2017   Hong Kong