Kyoto Prize at Oxford 2021: In Conversation with the Kyoto Prize Laureates

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The Kyoto Prize Laureates, whose work spans the fields of theatre, chemistry, technology and astrophysics, share their perspectives on achieving excellence and instigating change within their disciplines and beyond. Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government, moderates the discussion.


Professor James Gunn conceived and led the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which produced a three-dimensional digital cosmic map encompassing a broad region – a ‘map of the universe’. He contributed to the elucidation of the evolutionary history of the universe and has also published many pioneering astrophysical theories. Through these achievements, he has provided us with a significant understanding of the universe.

Ariane Mnouchkine, the founder and director of the Théâtre du Soleil, has been continuously producing masterpieces with historical and political themes over many decades. Referring to traditional performances of both the East and the West, she is a theatre pioneer whose unique theatrical organisation eschews hierarchical order.

Professor Ching Tang’s pioneering work led to the practical use of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and their widespread application in displays and lighting – from smartphones and TVs, to VR headsets and other wearable technology. He arrived at this achievement through studying light emission processes in electrically driven organic materials and invented a new device structure in which two carefully selected materials were stacked, allowing for high-efficiency light emission at low drive voltages.

This event is part of the Kyoto Prize at Oxford 2021.