The Singapore Prize and the Earthshot Prize

In a country where the word “singapore” is often associated with an affluent and highly-developed lifestyle, this prize was set up to recognise people who have dedicated themselves to serving their communities. The winners are lauded for their dedication and commitment to the common good, even in pivotal times when they have to put their own interests aside for the greater good.

The Singapore Prize will be awarded every three years. A committee of five judges, including prominent academics and leaders from the business community, will select one winner from among the nominees. A nomination process will be announced with the closing date for submissions at least a year in advance of the award ceremony.

The prize was launched in 2014 with the aim of cultivating interest and understanding about Singapore’s past, while sparking dialogue about the country’s unique place in the world. It aims to expand the definition of history by soliciting writings that cover multiple perspectives and themes related to Singapore’s history. The prize is administered by the Department of History at NUS.

Britain’s Prince William was joined by celebrities such as actors Donnie Yen and Lana Condor, and South African actress Nomzano Mbatha to walk the green carpet at the third Earthshot Prize awards ceremony on Tuesday. The prince said the solutions presented by the winners — from solar-powered dryers to combat food waste and making electric car batteries cleaner — showed that “hope does remain” as the effects of climate change are felt around the globe.

NUS professor Kishore Mahbubani, who is also the chairman of the Prize panel, said it is important to have diverse voices telling our stories. He added that the prize might eventually be expanded to include movies, comic books and other formats. He cited the movie 12 Years A Slave as an example. The prize was mooted by him in 2014 in support of SG50, the year that marks the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence.

The inaugural Harvard Prize Book (Singapore) was presented to Jeremy Tiang in 2022 for his book Sembawang, which follows the experiences of a family through the leftist political movements and detentions in Singapore and Malaysia. He was congratulated by Harvard University president Lawrence Bacow, who said the book illustrates the importance of altruism in a healthy civil society.

The prestigious Harvard Prize Book (Singapore) is the only literary award in Singapore endorsed by Harvard University, the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Established in 1636, Harvard is recognised as the world’s premier research university, and has produced many Nobel Laureates and heads of state. The prize consists of $500,000 and a certificate. The book will be published by NUS Press and be made available at all major bookstores nationwide and online. The book’s cover was designed by NUS Design Centre alumni Jason Chee and Lee Wai Lin.