Shaw Prize

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Shaw Prize
A gold circular medal with a depiction of an elderly man with glasses wearing a jacket buttoned to the neck; the English words "The Shaw Prize" and Chinese characters "邵逸夫獎" engraved on it
The obverse of the Shaw Prize medal
Awarded for Outstanding contributions in astronomy, life science and medicine, and mathematical sciences.
Country Hong Kong
Presented by The Shaw Prize Foundation
First awarded 2004
Saul Perlmutter, Adam Riess and Brian P. Schmidt (from left to right) jointly won the 2006 astronomy prize
Richard Doll, one of the 2004 life science and medicine prize winners
Shiing-Shen Chern, the 2004 mathematical sciences prize winner
Andrew John Wiles, the 2005 mathematical sciences prize winner
Vladimir Arnold, one of the 2008 mathematical sciences prize winners

The Shaw Prize is an annual award first presented by the Shaw Prize Foundation in 2004. Established in 2002 in Hong Kong, it honours living

"individuals who are currently active in their respective fields and who have recently achieved distinguished and significant advances, who have made outstanding contributions in academic and scientific research or applications, or who in other domains have achieved excellence. The award is dedicated to furthering societal progress, enhancing quality of life, and enriching humanity's spiritual civilization."[1]

The prize is widely regarded as the "Nobel of the East". [2][3][4][5] It is named after Sir Run Run Shaw (邵逸夫), who was a philanthropist and forerunner in the Hong Kong media industry.

The prize is for recent achievements in the fields of astronomy, life science and medicine, and mathematical sciences; it is not awarded posthumously.[1] Nominations are submitted by invited individuals beginning each year in September. The award winners are then announced in the summer, and receive the prize at the ceremony in early autumn. The winners receive a medal and a certificate. The front of the medal bears a portrait of Shaw as well as the English and the Traditional Chinese name of the prize; the back bears the year, the category, the name of the winner and a Chinese quotation of philosopher Xun Zi (制天命而用之, which means "Grasp the law of nature and make use of it").[6] In addition, the winner receives a sum of money, which is worth US$1.2 million from 1 October 2015.[1][7]

As of 2012, 28 prizes have been awarded to 48 individuals. The inaugural winner for the Astronomy award was Canadian Jim Peebles; he was honoured for his contributions to cosmology. Two inaugural prizes were awarded for the Life Science and Medicine category: Americans Stanley Norman Cohen, Herbert Boyer and Yuet-Wai Kan jointly won one of the prizes for their works pertaining to DNA while British physiologist Sir Richard Doll won the other for his contribution to cancer epidemiology. Shiing-Shen Chern of China won the inaugural Mathematical Sciences award for his work on differential geometry.

Of note, seven of the Nobel laureatesJules Hoffmann, Bruce Beutler, Saul Perlmutter, Adam Riess, Shinya Yamanaka, Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Schmidt—were previous laureates of the Shaw Prize.

Selection Committees

Board of Adjudicators: Yuet Wai Kan, Kenneth Young, Peter Goldreich, Randy Schekman, Peter Sarnak

Astronomy: Peter Goldreich, Ewine van Dishoeck, Reinhard Genzel, Victoria Kaspi, John A. Peacock

Life Science and Medicine: Randy Schekman, Bruce Beutler, Carol W. Greider, Franz-Ulrich Hartl, Robert Lefkowitz, Eve Marder, Shinya Yamanaka

Mathematical Sciences: Peter Sarnak, John M. Ball, David Eisenbud, Sir Timothy Gowers, John Morgan (mathematician)

Shaw Prize laureates


Year Laureate[a] Country[b] Rationale[c] Refs.
2004 Peebles, P. James E.P. James E. Peebles  United States for his contributions to cosmology [8][9]
2005 Marcy, GeoffreyGeoffrey Marcy  United States for their contributions that led to the discovery of planetary systems [10][11]
Mayor, MichelMichel Mayor   Switzerland
2006 Perlmutter, SaulSaul Perlmutter  United States for finding the expansion rate of the accelerating universe and the energy density of space [12][13]
Riess, AdamAdam Riess  United States
Schmidt, BrianBrian Schmidt  Australia
2007 Goldreich, PeterPeter Goldreich  United States for his achievements in theoretical astrophysics and planetary sciences [14][15]
2008 Genzel, ReinhardReinhard Genzel  Germany for demonstrating that the Milky Way's centre contains a supermassive black hole [16][17]
2009 Shu, Frank H.Frank H. Shu (徐遐生)  United States for his lifelong contributions to theoretical astronomy [18][19]
2010 Bennett, Charles L.Charles L. Bennett  United States for their contributions to the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe experiment, which helps to determine the geometry, age and composition of the universe [20]
Page Jr., Lyman A.Lyman A. Page Jr.  United States
Spergel, David N.David N. Spergel  United States
2011 Costa, EnricoEnrico Costa  Italy for their leadership of space missions that enabled the demonstration of the cosmological origin of gamma ray bursts, the brightest sources known in the universe. [21]
Fishman, Gerald J.Gerald J. Fishman  United States
2012 Jewitt, DavidDavid Jewitt  United States for their discovery and characterization of trans-Neptunian bodies, an archeological treasure dating back to the formation of the solar system and the long-sought source of short period comets. [22]
Luu, JaneJane Luu  United States
2013 Balbus, Steven A.Steven A. Balbus  United Kingdom for their discovery and study of the magnetorotational instability, and for demonstrating that this instability leads to turbulence and is a viable mechanism for angular momentum transport in astrophysical accretion disks. [23]
Hawley, John F.John F. Hawley  United States
2014 Eisenstein, DanielDaniel Eisenstein  United States for their contributions to the measurements of features in the large-scale structure of galaxies used to constrain the cosmological model including baryon acoustic oscillations and redshift-space distortions. [24]
Cole, ShaunShaun Cole  United Kingdom
Peacock, John A.John A. Peacock  United Kingdom
2015 Borucki, William J.William J. Borucki  United States for his conceiving and leading the Kepler mission, which greatly advanced knowledge of both extrasolar planetary systems and stellar interiors. [25]
2016 Drever, Ronald W. P.Ronald W. P. Drever  United Kingdom for conceiving and designing the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), whose recent direct detection of gravitational waves opens a new window in astronomy, with the first remarkable discovery being the merger of a pair of stellar mass black holes. [26]
Thorne, Kip S.Kip S. Thorne  United States
Weiss, RainerRainer Weiss  United States
2017 White, Simon D. M.Simon D. M. White  Germany for his contributions to understanding structure formation in the Universe. With powerful numerical simulations he has shown how small density fluctuations in the early Universe develop into galaxies and other nonlinear structures, strongly supporting a cosmology with a flat geometry, and dominated by dark matter and a cosmological constant. [27]

Life science and medicine

Year Laureate[a] Country[b] Rationale[c] Refs.
2004[d] Cohen, Stanley N.Stanley N. Cohen  United States for their contributions to DNA cloning and genetic engineering [8]
Boyer, Herbert W.Herbert W. Boyer  United States
Kan, Yuet-WaiYuet-Wai Kan  United States for his works on DNA polymorphism
2004[d] Sir Richard Doll  United Kingdom for his contributions to the epidemiology of cancer
2005 Sir Michael Berridge  United Kingdom for his works on calcium signalling, a process that regulate the activity of cells [10][28]
2006 Wang, XiaodongXiaodong Wang  United States for his works on programmed cell death [12][29]
2007 Lefkowitz, RobertRobert Lefkowitz  United States for his works on G protein-coupled receptor [14][30]
2008[e] Campbell, Keith H. S.Keith H. S. Campbell  United Kingdom for their works on the cell differentiation in mammals, a process that advances our knowledge of developmental biology [16]
Sir Ian Wilmut  United Kingdom
Yamanaka, ShinyaShinya Yamanaka  Japan
2009 Coleman, Douglas L.Douglas L. Coleman  United States for their discovery of leptin [18]
Friedman, Jeffrey M.Jeffrey M. Friedman  United States
2010 Julius, DavidDavid Julius  United States for his discovery of molecular mechanisms by which the skin senses painful stimuli [20]
2011 Hoffmann, Jules A.Jules A. Hoffmann  France for their discovery of the molecular mechanism of innate immunity, the first line of defense against pathogens. [21]
Medzhitov, Ruslan M.Ruslan M. Medzhitov  United States
Beutler, Bruce A.Bruce A. Beutler  United States
2012 Hartl, Franz-UlrichFranz-Ulrich Hartl  Germany for their contributions to the understanding of the molecular mechanism of protein folding. Proper protein folding is essential for many cellular functions. [22]
Horwich, ArthurArthur Horwich  United States
2013 Hall, Jeffrey C.Jeffrey C. Hall  United States for their discovery of molecular mechanisms underlying circadian rhythms. [23]
Rosbash, MichaelMichael Rosbash  United States
Young, Michael W.Michael W. Young  United States
2014 Mori, KazutoshiKazutoshi Mori  Japan for their discovery of the Unfolded Protein Response of the endoplasmic reticulum, a cell signalling pathway that controls organelle homeostasis and quality of protein export in eukaryotic cells. [24]
Walter, PeterPeter Walter  United States
2015 Bassler, Bonnie L.Bonnie L. Bassler  United States for elucidating the molecular mechanism of quorum sensing, a process whereby bacteria communicate with each other and which offers innovative ways to interfere with bacterial pathogens or to modulate the microbiome for health applications. [25]
Greenberg, E. PeterE. Peter Greenberg  United States
2016 Bird, Adrian P.Adrian P. Bird  United Kingdom for their discovery of the genes and the encoded proteins that recognize one chemical modification of the DNA of chromosomes that influences gene control as the basis of the developmental disorder Rett syndrome. [26]
Zoghbi, Huda Y.Huda Y. Zoghbi  United States
2017 Gibbons, Ian R.Ian R. Gibbons  United States for their discovery of microtubule-associated motor proteins: engines that power cellular and intracellular movements essential to the growth, division, and survival of human cells. [27]
Vale, Ronald D.Ronald D. Vale  United States

Mathematical sciences

Year Laureate[a] Country[b] Rationale[c] Refs.
2004 Chern, Shiing-ShenShiing-Shen Chern (陳省身)  China for his initiation and pioneering of global differential geometry [8][31]
2005 Wiles, Andrew JohnAndrew John Wiles  United Kingdom for his proof of Fermat's Last Theorem [10][32]
2006 Mumford, DavidDavid Mumford  United States for his contributions to pattern theory and vision research [12][33]
Wu, WentsunWentsun Wu (吳文俊)  China for his contributions to mathematics mechanisation
2007 Langlands, RobertRobert Langlands  United States for the development of the Langlands program, a program that connects prime numbers with symmetry [14][34]
Taylor, RichardRichard Taylor  United Kingdom
2008 Arnold, VladimirVladimir Arnold  Russia for their contributions to mathematical physics [16]
Faddeev, LudwigLudwig Faddeev  Russia
2009 Donaldson, Simon K.Simon K. Donaldson  United Kingdom for their contributions to the geometry of 3 and 4 dimensions [18]
Taubes, Clifford H.Clifford H. Taubes  United States
2010 Bourgain, JeanJean Bourgain  United States for his work in mathematical analysis and its application to fields ranging from partial differential equations to theoretical computer science [20]
2011 Christodoulou, DemetriosDemetrios Christodoulou   Switzerland for their highly innovative works on nonlinear partial differential equations in Lorentzian and Riemannian geometry and their applications to general relativity and topology. [21]
Hamilton, Richard S.Richard S. Hamilton  United States
2012 Kontsevich, MaximMaxim Kontsevich  France for his pioneering works in algebra, geometry and mathematical physics and in particular deformation quantization, motivic integration and mirror symmetry. [22]
2013 Donoho, David L. David L. Donoho  United States for his profound contributions to modern mathematical statistics and in particular the development of optimal algorithms for statistical estimation in the presence of noise and of efficient techniques for sparse representation and recovery in large data-sets. [23]
2014 Lusztig, George George Lusztig  United States for his fundamental contributions to algebra, algebraic geometry, and representation theory, and for weaving these subjects together to solve old problems and reveal beautiful new connections. [24]
2015 Faltings, GerdGerd Faltings  Germany for their introduction and development of fundamental tools in number theory, allowing them as well as others to resolve some longstanding classical problems. [25]
Iwaniec, HenrykHenryk Iwaniec  United States
2016 Hitchin, Nigel J.Nigel J. Hitchin  United Kingdom for his far reaching contributions to geometry, representation theory and theoretical physics. The fundamental and elegant concepts and techniques that he has introduced have had wide impact and are of lasting importance. [26]
2017 Kollár, JánosJános Kollár  United States for their remarkable results in many central areas of algebraic geometry, which have transformed the field and led to the solution of long-standing problems that had appeared out of reach. [27]
Voisin, ClaireClaire Voisin  France


  • a The form and spelling of the names in the name column is according to, the official website of the Shaw Prize Foundation. Alternative spellings and name forms, where they exist, are given at the articles linked from this column.
  • b Countries mentioned above refer to the sites of the work places of the Laureates at the time of the award.[35]
  • c The rationale for each award is quoted (not always in full) from, the official website of the Shaw Prize Foundation.
  • d Two prizes were awarded for the life science and medicine category in 2004: Stanley N. Cohen, Herbert W. Boyer and Yuet-Wai Kan jointly received one of the prizes (half went to Cohen and Boyer; the other half went to Kan). Richard Doll received the other prize.[36][37]
  • e Half of the 2008 life science and medicine prize went to Keith H. S. Campbell and Ian Wilmut; the other half went to Shinya Yamanaka.


  • "The Shaw Laureates (2004 – 2017)". 
  1. ^ a b c "Introduction". Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Jackson Laboratory scientist wins Shaw Prize, "Nobel of the East"". The Jackson Laboratory. June 16, 2009. Retrieved October 26, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Berkeley Lab’s Saul Perlmutter Wins Shaw Prize in Astronomy". Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. June 21, 2006. Retrieved November 20, 2009. 
  4. ^ "$1 million ‘Nobel of the East’ awarded to Sir Michael Berridge, Emeritus Fellow at the Babraham Institute". Babraham Institute. July 18, 2005. Retrieved November 20, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Solana Beach: Astronomy researcher gets $1 million Shaw Prize". North County Times. June 17, 2009. Retrieved November 20, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Medal". Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Rules of Procedures" (PDF). Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c Shaw Prizes 2004
  9. ^ "Shaw Prize awarded to six scientists". Government of Hong Kong. September 7, 2004. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c Shaw Prizes 2005
  11. ^ Sanders, Robert (September 1, 2005). "Planet hunter Geoffrey Marcy shares $1 million Shaw Prize in astronomy". UC Berkeley. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  12. ^ a b c Shaw Prizes 2006
  13. ^ "Berkeley physicist Perlmutter wins Shaw Prize for work on expansion of universe". UC Berkeley. June 22, 2006. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  14. ^ a b c Shaw Prizes 2007
  15. ^ "Caltech Astrophysicist Peter Goldreich Wins $1 Million International Shaw Prize". California Institute of Technology. June 12, 2007. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  16. ^ a b c Shaw Prizes 2008
  17. ^ Viñas, Maria José (June 10, 2008). "6 Professors to Share $1-Million Shaw Prizes". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  18. ^ a b c Shaw Prizes 2009
  19. ^ Beja, Marc (June 16, 2009). "$1-Million Shaw Prizes Go to 5 Researchers". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  20. ^ a b c Shaw Prizes 2010
  21. ^ a b c Shaw Prizes 2011
  22. ^ a b c Shaw Prizes 2012
  23. ^ a b c Shaw Prizes 2013
  24. ^ a b c Shaw Prizes 2014
  25. ^ a b c Shaw Prizes 2015
  26. ^ a b c Shaw Prizes 2016
  27. ^ a b c Shaw Prizes 2017
  28. ^ "$1 million ‘Nobel of the East’ awarded to Sir Michael Berridge, Emeritus Fellow at the Babraham Institute". Babraham Institute. July 18, 2005. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  29. ^ "Xiaodong Wang Wins $1 Million Shaw Prize". Howard Hughes Medical Institute. June 22, 2006. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  30. ^ "Robert J. Lefkowitz Wins $1 Million Shaw Prize". Howard Hughes Medical Institute. June 12, 2007. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  31. ^ Sanders, Robert (December 6, 2004). "Renowned mathematician Shiing-Shen Chern, who revitalized the study of geometry, has died at 93 in Tianjin, China". UC Berkeley. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  32. ^ "Institute For Advanced Study Congratulates 2005 Shaw Prize Laureate Andrew Wiles". Institute for Advanced Study. June 7, 2005. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  33. ^ "UT Southwestern biochemist wins $1 million research prize for cell death, cancer insights". UT Southwestern Medical Center. June 21, 2006. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  34. ^ "Two Faculty Members Named 2007 Shaw Prize Laureates". Institute for Advanced Study. June 13, 2007. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  35. ^ "Shaw Laureates Chart (2004 – 2017)" (JPG). Retrieved May 23, 2017. 
  36. ^ "The Shaw Laureates (2004 – 2009)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2009. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 
  37. ^ "Press release of the 2004 Shaw Prize announcement". Archived from the original on 13 October 2008. Retrieved October 29, 2009. 

External links

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