Press Release

LUI Che Woo Prize Reveals 2019 Laureates - Furthering Its Mission to Enrich World Civilisation

(Hong Kong, 19 August 2019) – The LUI Che Woo Prize – Prize for World Civilisation announced the three 2019 laureates earlier today at the official press conference. Commended for their exceptional achievements to promote world civilisation for a better world, the 2019 laureates are:

  • The Nature Conservancy, winning the Sustainability Prize
  • Jennifer A. Doudna, winning the Welfare Betterment Prize
  • Fan Jinshi, winning the Positive Energy Prize

The press conference was hosted by Dr. Lui Che Woo, Founder & Chairman of the Board of Governors cum Prize Council of the LUI Che Woo Prize, who was accompanied by Dr. Moses Cheng Mo-chi, member of the Board of Governors and Professor Lawrence J. Lau, Chairman of the Prize Recommendation Committee.

The 2019 Sustainability Prize has been awarded to The Nature Conservancy. A global environmental non-profit organisation with the mission “to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends”, The Nature Conservancy brings together individuals, local communities, government departments and private businesses to collectively tackle the natural world’s biggest and most important challenges such as climate change, water scarcity and food shortages. The Nature Conservancy advances conservation through cutting-edge science, new technologies, groundbreaking partnerships and policies to achieve long lasting results for a more sustainable world. With the support of more than 400 scientists and over one million members, it is positively impacting conservation work in 72 countries across six continents; making it one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental groups in the world since it was founded in 1951.

In Hong Kong, The Nature Conservancy is nurturing and empowering future environmental leaders through youth initiatives – impacting over 400 Hong Kong students across 77 schools with educational activities, building an educator network to increase environmental teaching capacities, and helping students design over 45 conservation projects.

Ms. Sally Jewell, Chief Executive Officer of The Nature Conservancy, said, “My colleagues and I are deeply honoured to be a recipient of the LUI Che Woo Prize for Sustainability. Creating a world where people and nature thrive is an enormous challenge, and The Nature Conservancy is grateful for this vote of confidence in our work. Receiving this Prize will add crucial momentum to our efforts to achieve our mission – preserving the lands and waters on which all life depends.”

The 2019 Welfare Betterment Prize has been awarded to Dr. Jennifer A. Doudna. An American biochemist, Dr. Doudna is the co-inventor of CRISPR-Cas9 – a revolutionary genome-editing technology allowing genetic material to be added, removed or altered in animal and plant cells. Faster, cheaper and more accurate than any previous gene-editing tools, CRISPR-Cas9 has been called one of the world’s most monumental discoveries. CRISPR-Cas9 could be the key to treating or preventing inherited genetic disorders like cystic fibrosis or sickle cell disease, as well as more complex diseases such as cancer, heart disease and HIV. The technology could also help to engineer plants that are resistant to climate change, and crops with better nutritional value. Its potential applications for improving human welfare are vast and Dr. Doudna’s work has already given hope to millions worldwide.

Dr. Doudna said, “I am delighted to accept this honour from the LUI Che Woo Prize recognising the CRISPR-Cas9 technology. International accolades such as this can inspire and support scientific advances that better the welfare of people worldwide. On behalf of my students, my colleagues and my collaborators, we appreciate this award and the opportunity to underscore the need for our society to use CRISPR technology responsibly.”

The 2019 Positive Energy Prize has been awarded to Ms. Fan Jinshi. Ms. Fan has earned the nickname “Daughter of Dunhuang” for her dedication to studying and preserving the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, China which are a significant cultural site housing one of the world’s most important collections of Buddhist culture. A rare woman in her field, Ms. Fan has overcome many social and financial challenges; and remained heroically committed to her duty for 56 years – greatly advancing the archeological and historical understanding of this significant cultural treasure. Her major contributions to its digital preservation and broad dissemination have defined new standards for successful cultural preservation. Her positive energy and unwavering determination in the face of setbacks, hardship and adversity have inspired many people.

Ms. Fan said, “Receiving the LUI Che Woo Prize is a great honour. My work over the years for the Mogao Grottoes has been undertaken not for myself, but rather in service of the awe-inspiring culture, art and history embodied by this unique site. I hope that my winning the LUI Che Woo Prize in the category of Positive Energy will encourage everyone to more strongly consider the importance of our shared heritage and connection as people of the world.”

Dr. Lui Che Woo, Founder & Chairman of the Board of Governors cum Prize Council of the LUI Che Woo Prize said, “I am deeply honoured to unveil and collectively celebrate our three laureates of the 2019 LUI Che Woo Prize. Each has made enormous contributions to world civilisation – enhancing sustainability, bettering the welfare of humankind, and promoting positive energy. My sincerest congratulations to the laureates, and my heartfelt gratitude to the Prize Council, the Prize Recommendation Committee and the Selection Panels for their concerted efforts to help us recognise these exceptional laureates. Together, we will go forth in our mission to sow the seeds of goodwill and use the international platform of the LUI Che Woo Prize to help build a better tomorrow.”

The Award Presentation Ceremony of the 2019 LUI Che Woo Prize will take place on 3rd October 2019. Representative from The Nature Conservancy, Dr. Jennifer A. Doudna and Ms. Fan Jinshi will officially be honoured with their respective awards.

In the meantime, the nomination period for the 2020 LUI Che Woo Prize will commence in September of this year. Invitations will be sent to more than 1,000 nominators, including heads of universities, academic institutions and professional organisations. Nominations will be considered regardless of race, religion and nationality (for individuals), or place of establishment (for organisations).

 – Ends –

 

 


(right to left) Dr. Moses Cheng Mo-Chi, member of the Board of Governors, Dr. Lui Che Woo, Founder & Chairman of the Board of Governors cum Prize Council and Professor Lawrence J. Lau, Chairman of the Prize Recommendation Committee.

 


Dr. Lui Che Woo gives thanks to those who have contributed to shaping the LUI Che Woo Prize and urges all to work together in pursuit of building a better world.

 


Professor Lawrence J. Lau reveals the three 2019 LUI Che Woo Prize laureates, sharing their key achievements.

 


The Nature Conservancy advances conservation through cutting-edge science, new technologies, groundbreaking partnerships and policies to achieve long lasting results for a more sustainable world.

 


Dr. Jennifer A. Doudna is the co-inventor of the revolutionary gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9, which has huge implications for the treatment and prevention of genetic diseases, as well as agriculture.

 


A rare woman in her field, Ms. Fan Jinshi has overcome many social and financial challenges; and remained heroically committed to the preservation of the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, China for 56 years.

 

 

 


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