The Winners of the 2019 Singapore Prize

A solar-powered dryer, a marketplace for soil carbon, and groups that work to make electric car batteries cleaner, restore Andean forests, and deter illegal fishing, have been awarded this year’s Singapore prize. The prize is a 10-year program launched by Britain’s Prince William, who attended the awards ceremony in Singapore and praised the finalists as proof that hope still exists for mankind as climate change takes hold.

The prize money is split into two categories: the public choice award, which was voted on by readers, and the expert panel award. This year’s shortlist was made up of nine works, with authors including alllkunila and Daryl Qilin Yam competing for the top prize of $500,000.

Winners were announced at a lavish ceremony in the Theatre Mediacorp, which was rolled out like a green carpet, with Prince William sporting a crisp dark green velour suit and dickie bow. The host, Hannah Waddingham, wore a sparkly long black sparkling ball gown that perfectly matched the thick green carpet.

Besides the cash prizes, winners received commemorative plaques. The winners are chosen based on the quality and depth of their submissions, as well as their ability to explain and translate scientific concepts for non-specialist audiences. They will also be given the opportunity to present their work in a seminar series at the prestigious National University of Singapore, which is the first university in the world to offer a science communication course.

The award was introduced by the National University of Singapore’s Department of History to celebrate SG50 and make the study of Singapore history more accessible to the general public. This year, the prize received 43 submissions from both fiction and non-fiction, with the focus on stories that go beyond the traditional view of history as a record of big movers and shakers. The shortlist includes historical tomes, such as Seven Hundred Years: A History of Singapore (2019, available here), and books with a more personal slant, such as Leluhur: A History of Kampong Gelam by Hidayah Amin, which shines a light on the city’s heritage kampong (neighbourhood) that many now see only as tourist attractions.

The IPS Council would be delighted to hear from you if you are interested in nominating someone for an IPS Award. You may nominate up to 2 individuals or organizations at any one time for a specific award. Nominations will be kept for 2 years for consideration. IPS awards are open to all Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and those with strong Singaporean ties. You will need to provide supporting evidence, such as letters of recommendation from those familiar with your work, a copy of your CV and a letter of motivation. The supporting evidence can be submitted separately from the nomination. The IPS Awards Committee will review the supporting evidence before making the final decision. The winner will receive the President’s Medal at the annual IPS Symposium and the prestigious IPS President’s Award. For more information, please visit the IPS Awards page.