A maker of solar-powered dryers, a soil carbon marketplace and groups that help electric cars become cleaner and restore Andean forests have been named the winners of this year’s Earthshot Prize. Britain’s Prince William, whose Royal Foundation charity launched the prize in 2020, attended the awards ceremony in Singapore on Tuesday, praising five of the 15 finalists for showing that hope still exists to protect the planet.
At the glitzy ceremony at state-owned Mediacorp Theatre, he and the other presenters — including actors Hannah Waddingham and Sterling K. Brown and singers One Republic and Bastille — wore dark green suits by Alexander McQueen to reflect the sustainability theme, while the host, actress Mbatha, opted for a navy blue gown. Keeping in line with the environment-themed event, each guest walked down a “green carpet” made of recycled plastic bottles. William also tried his hand at dragon boating and met locals at the United for Wildlife global summit, where representatives from law enforcement agencies and companies shared their experiences in combating the trade of illegal wildlife products.
Meanwhile, eight out of the 12 Singapore Prize winners are first-time recipients in their respective categories, with a mix of seasoned and emerging authors. The oldest winner of the English literary category, nonagenarian Wang Gungwu, is a two-time winner. His eponymous book “Singapore in the 14th Century” won last year. Other winners in the history category are professors Kishore Mahbubani and Peter A. Coclanis, a historian of East Asia.
The inaugural Singapore Prize for History was established in 2014, marking the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence. It is awarded triennially to a publication that has a significant impact on our understanding of the country’s history. The prize is administered by the Department of History at NUS. A four-man panel — which includes historian Wang, academic Kishore Mahbubani and entrepreneur Claire Chiang — selects the winning work each year.
The prize’s next award will be given out in 2024 and is open to all publications published between 1 June 2021 and 31 May 2024. Submissions are required to be book-length works that address any time period, theme or field of Singapore’s history, or include a substantial aspect of Singaporean history within a wider context. The book must be authored or co-authored, and be written in English. Besides books, creative works such as films and paintings that have clear historical themes may be submitted. The winning entry will receive a cash prize of S$50,000. Those interested in nominating a work for the prize can do so online here. Nominations close on 30 November. Click here for more information on the award and its history. The shortlist will be announced in December and the final list of winners will be revealed on 30 January 2024. The prize is funded by the National Book Development Council of Singapore.