No more than 2 people can get China's 0,000 annual sci-tech award

Updated 2018-01-08 09:31:16

The big moment in China's science and technology world is coming on Monday as the government reveals the laureates of the top sci-tech award for 2017.

Up to two laureates will be chosen for the "Chinese Nobel Prize", with a possibility of no winner.

Four other awards related to sci-tech will also be given out, with one of those prizes going to foreigners.

But none of them received much attention from the general public compared to the top award, which is five million yuan (about 770,000 U.S. dollars) for each laureate and is presented by the Chinese president personally.

Previous winners

A total of 27 scientists have received this ultimate honor since the award began in 2000.

Last year's top award went to two scientists. One is Tu Youyou, Nobel Medicine Prize winner in 2015, for her discovery of artemisinin to treat malaria; The other is Zhao Zhongxian, who leads China's superconductivity research.

There were no winners for the 2015 award.

The 2014 award was given to only one person: Yu Min, who is widely considered as the father of China's H-bomb.

Other significant winners include Yuan Longping, whose hybrid rice is now more than 60 percent of China's rice yield.

As a Chinese farmer in his eighties, Yuan can speak fluent English and is still breeding even better rice species.

Also on the list is Wang Xuan, who solved the problem of digital typesetting in the Chinese language, a language that has tens of thousands of characters instead of just 26 like English.

Change of rules

The way to choose laureates for the top award was changed by the government last month in order to fix loopholes.

Academic communities were allowed to suggest nominees for the first time in the award's 17-year history.

"We hope this can make the award fairer and prevent possible corruptions," said Zou Dating, head of the National Office for Science and Technology Awards.

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