Nobel Prize winner Sir Kostya Novoselov:”VinFuture Prize will contribute to the promotion of diversity and inclusion in the global scientific community”
VinFuture Prize – the first global sci-tech award from Vietnam – managed to attract nearly 600 nominations from around the globe in its inaugural year. “It is a very impressive result that will contribute to the promotion of diversity and inclusion in the global scientific community,” said Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov FRS, who was among the youngest laureates of the Nobel Prize in Physics when he was 36.
Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov:
For years, the scientific community has evolved to address new global challenges. According to a UNESCO report released in June 2021, the number of scientists globally increased by nearly 14% between 2014 and 2018. However, only a third of them were women. While spending on science worldwide increased by nearly 20%, with the United States and China accounting for nearly two-thirds of this increase.
Professor Novoselov is an established expert in condensed matter physics, mesoscopic physics and nanotechnology. In 2010, he and Professor Sir Andre Geimof the University of Manchester won the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of graphene – the strongest, lightest and most electrically conductive substance on Earth today. At the age of 36, he was the youngest Nobel Laureate since 1992.
Being a member of the VinFuture Prize Council, Professor Novoselov acknowledged that many countries are now investing strongly into the support of their talented researchers, which boosted dramatically the level of science across the globe. However, the rich seem to get richer as resources for scientific research in economically disadvantaged regions are still limited.
“It often happens that scientists from developing countries do not get the recognition they deserve simply because their voice is not heard as well as it is deserved to be heard. The VinFuturePrize was developed exactly to change this, to equilibrate the situation.We believe that talents can appear in any country. And we believe that all talents deserve to be supported,” shared ProfessorNovoselov.
The Russian British physicist was amazed at the sheer number of nominations for VinFuture Prize in its debut season: nearly 600 entries coming from 60 countries across 6 continents.
“The large response simply reflects the fact that talents grow uniformly across the globe and that scientific discoveries now are also made in the developing countries as well”, he stressed. “We hope that our prize will support scientists in developing countries, instigate governments in those countries to invest more into science and will drive the enthusiasm of young people to become scientists”.
Professor Novoselov appreciated that VinFuture Prize is one of the few that put emphasis on women – regrettably still a minority group in the scientific community. According to him, an ideal world shouldnot have a female prize or a male prize asprize should be given to any scientists who made a breakthrough discovery irrespective of their genders.
“Unfortunately, we are where we are. For years we were neglecting the issue and need to apply special efforts to bring the situation where it should be. We hope that this prize will bring more women into science and will support them in their endeavor,” the Professor continued.
VinFuture Prize Council
As stated by Dr Le Mai Lan, Vingroup’s Vice Chairwoman and Designated Representative of the VinFuture Foundation – the host organization of VinFuture Prize, equal chances for all scientists and researchers are a special attribute of the award.
“Without limits in terms of age, gender, nation, field of research, VinFuture Prize has appealed to a wide range of scientists and inventors. Each nomination sent to VinFuture represents a voice, a viewpoint and an experience that are unique. All those initiatives are aimed at fostering innovations for humanity,” said Dr Le Mai Lan.
Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov also stressed the importance of a comprehensive approach to assessing the roles of science in resolving global challenges.
“In my opinion, science should not solve issues.It should provide us with an adequate and accurate picture of the world. Then we can think how to utilize the knowledge we gained to make the world we live in safe and sustainable. And we see right now how science helps us to fight global warming and pandemics. But surely, the more we know, the more efficient our actionsare. The beauty of science is that often it brings completely unpredictable results, offering very novel solutions,” he revealed.
Professor Novoselov – the Nobel Prize winning physicist – is one of the 12 members of the VinFuture Prize Council that consists of prestigious scientists and inventors from the world’s leading education and research institutions as well as technological corporations. The VinFuture Prize Council will start evaluating nominations in the Final Round from September 2021.
About VinFuture Prize:
Debuted in late 2020, the VinFuture Prize is a global science and technology award for humanity, with a focus on groundbreaking scientific discoveries and technological inventions proven to create, or having the potential to create better changes in people’s lives. one Grand Prize worth 3 million USD and 3 additional Special Prizes worth 500 thousand USD each for developing country innovators, women scientists and outstanding researchers in emerging fields.
The Pre-screening Round of VinFuture Prize is ongoing, with a shortlist of excellent nominations to be chosen for the Final Round, slated for September 2021. Among nearly 600 nominations for VinFuture Prize 2021, women scientists participate in all categories and account for 34.3%.
Laureates of the inaugural VinFuture Prizes will be officially announced on December 20th, 2021. The Prize Ceremony is expected to be held in Vietnam on January 20th, 2022.