Some of the world's top minds to meet here

Some of the world's top minds to meet here
Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, the world's oldest scientific academy founded in 1660, will be given the Albert Einstein World Award of Science at the World Cultural Council (WCC) award ceremony in Singapore. He is also a Nobel Prize winner whose work in cell division drives research to cure cancer.

More than 200 delegates, including prominent scholars and Nobel laureates, will gather in Singapore next week for two global events held here for the first time.

Organisers of the inaugural World Academic Summit and the World Cultural Council (WCC) award ceremony said Singapore was chosen because of its fast-rising institutions like the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National University of Singapore (NUS).

The NTU will host both events from Wednesday.

The World Academic Summit will be opened by former president SR Nathan, while Senior Minister of State for Education and Law Indranee Rajah will do the honours at the other event.

At the three-day World Academic Summit, Britain-based educational consultancy Times Higher Education will release its annual World University Rankings on Thursday.

Singapore's universities have performed well in these rankings in the past few years. Last year, NTU was No. 86 and the NUS came in at No.29, up from 169th and 40th placings the year before.

The WCC award ceremony on Wednesday will honour individuals whose work in science and the arts had a positive impact on society.

The WCC is a Mexico-based international organisation which gives out two awards each year. This is the first time the ceremony is being held here in its 30-year history.

This year, it will present the Albert Einstein World Award of Science to Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, the world's oldest scientific academy founded in 1660.

Professor Nurse, who won the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine in 2001, is a leading British biochemist whose work in cell division drives research to cure cancer.

For their contributions to the modern arts, Finnish artists Petteri Nisunen and Tommi Gronlund will be given the Leonardo Da Vinci World Award of Arts.

Past prominent winners of the awards include Sir John Houghton, a leading environmental scientist, and film-maker Marcell Jankovics.

NTU president Bertil Andersson said the two events will "bring together leaders from industry, higher education and governments to discuss the commercialisation of research and how universities can fuel technological change and economic growth".

At the summit, prominent speakers like Sir Keith O'Nions, president of Imperial College London, and Dr Marcus Storch, former chairman of the board of the Nobel Foundation, will speak on a range of topics, such as research in universities and how to build a world-class university.

NTU, which has risen rapidly in the rankings and has strong global partnerships, is a "perfect case study of all the important issues to be tackled at the summit", said Mr Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education rankings.

The Straits Times is the official media partner of these events.

For more details about the event, please visit
http://www.theworldacademicsummit.com/was2013/wed-2-oct-2013

ateng@sph.com.sg


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