The 2023 winners of the Earthshot Prize — a global competition created by Britain’s Prince William and his charity foundation to promote inventors developing technologies to combat climate change and its impact on the planet — were announced Tuesday at Singapore’s Mediacorp Campus. The award ceremony was the highlight of a week-long celebration called Earthshot Week that brought together local and global leaders to share solutions and take action.
Prof Miksic’s book drew on literary records, including Chinese accounts by merchant Wang Dayuan of places such as Temasek and Longyamen, to “provide a fundamental reinterpretation of Singapore’s history” and its place in the region, the panel said. It also challenged the conventional view of Singapore’s origin by pointing to bits of historical evidence that indicate the city-state was already there in 1819.
Among the other finalists was the novel State of Play by author Jeremy Tiang, which explores the role of art in Singapore’s tightly controlled society. It also retraces important – and controversial – historical events, such as the violent strikes and riots of 1955 and the imprisonment of left-wing politicians and trade unionists.
Tiang’s book is one of the most important in the recent rewriting of Singapore’s social history, and it has received widespread critical praise worldwide. In addition to the top prize, he was given the Readers’ Favourite Award in recognition of his book’s ability to engage readers and spark discussions on important issues such as art, politics, nationalism and social activism.
The final winners were selected by a team of judges that included leading industry experts and thought leaders from across the world. This year, a record number of entries were received across 11 categories, making it difficult for the jury to select only ten winners. However, they did a great job in finding the best of the best.
Besides the main prizes, there were special awards given out to individuals and organisations that excelled in their fields. These include the Youth Leadership award, which recognises outstanding young leaders for their commitment to community service and volunteerism, and the Public Interest award, which honours a person or organisation that has made significant contributions to the public good.
The winning authors each received a cash prize of $3,000, a hand-crafted trophy and a 12-month subscription to audiobook platform StoryTel. Four writers – Ali bin Salim, Daryl Qilin Yam, Pan Zheng Lei and rmaa cureess – also won the popular Readers’ Favourite award. This year, more than 4,000 voters cast their votes, a double of the previous year. Prof Kishore Mahbubani, senior advisor (university and global relations) at NUS, told reporters that there may be plans to expand the list of works that can qualify for the Singapore prize. For example, he said the prize could be extended to include movies and comic books that have a historical theme. However, this is still in the early stages of discussion. He added that there is a need to ensure that Singaporeans develop a deeper understanding of their own history.