The Singapore prize is an annual award that recognizes outstanding scientists and engineers in Singapore, serving to uphold research excellence while strengthening Singapore’s vibrant community of scientific talent.

This year’s winners were selected by a panel of prominent judges including Professor Kishore Mahbubani, senior advisor to Singapore’s Prime Minister and NUS vice-chancellor. The awards ceremony took place at state-owned media company MediaCorp Theatre with performances by singers Bastille and OneRepublic; Prince wore an Alexander McQueen suit purchased ten years prior.

Prof Miksic’s book was awarded with a cash prize of S$50,000 for being “fundamental in its reinterpretation of Singaporean history”, said the jury, while providing insight into when its name first originated.

The jury deemed this work as an invaluable resource, noting its use in compiling historical documents, archaeological findings and literary records to answer when and why Singapore got its name. Additionally, literary sources written by Chinese traders from 13th century revealed Singapore was known as Temasek and Longyamen respectively.

First time ever that a book on Singapore history has won the Singapore History Prize since it was introduced in 2014. Administered by NUS Department of History, shortlisted books this year included those on a wide array of subjects from Sam Hua’s death to discovering ancient artefacts in Singapore.

Other winning entries included a group that produced solar-powered dryers, an exchange market for soil carbon exchange, and groups working towards creating cleaner electric car batteries and restoring Andean forests. Prince Charles of Cambridge who launched the prize through his Royal Foundation charity said all 15 finalists represented hope as climate change is felt globally.

At the awards ceremony, Prince Michael of Kent praised the prize’s “unique and powerful spirit”, inspired by President John F Kennedy’s 1962 “Moonshot” speech which challenged Americans to reach the moon within 10 years. In his address he encouraged scientists and entrepreneurs alike to work together towards developing technological solutions to global challenges such as climate change.

On his four-day visit, Prince Charles will meet Singaporeans to learn about their efforts to protect and restore the planet. He will attend a United for Wildlife global summit featuring representatives of law enforcement agencies, conservation groups and corporations working against illegal trade of animals and animal parts. Lastly, he’ll try his luck at dragon boating (a popular sport here) while meeting numerous environmental organizations. He’ll visit Istana palace which boasts one of Singapore’s oldest heritage sites.

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