Asian Scientist Writing Prize Winners Announced

A total of 24 winners received their prizes at the inaugural Asian Scientist Writing Prize 2015 held at the Science Centre Singapore.

AsianScientist (Jul. 27, 2015) – An essay on the insidious effects of asbestos and its potential impact on Asia has won first prize at the inaugural Asian Scientist Writing Prize 2015. The winner, Dr. Law Yao Hua, a freelance science writer from Selangor, Malaysia received his prize from the guest of honor, Singapore’s minister for education, Mr. Heng Swee Keat, at the awards ceremony held today at Science Centre Singapore.

Winning the second prize for an essay on tribology—the study of how moving surfaces interact—was Dr. Jonathan Leong, a lecturer at SIM University in Singapore. The third prize was awarded to Dr. John James Wilson, a senior lecturer on ecology & biodiversity and assistant curator at the Museum of Zoology at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur. He wrote about the oriental latrine fly, an unfortunately-named animal that might help to ease Asia’s food security woes.

Sponsored by World Scientific Publishing Company and co-organized by Science Centre Singapore and Asian Scientist Magazine, the Asian Scientist Writing Prize seeks to recognize outstanding science writers in the region. Over 300 entries were received from writers all across Asia, including China, India, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia and Thailand.

The 24 winners were selected by a panel of five judges: Assistant Professor Juliana Chan, editor-in-chief of Asian Scientist Magazine, Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, CEO of Science Centre Singapore, Dr. Benjamin Seet, executive director of the Biomedical Research Council, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Professor Steven Miller, vice provost (research), Singapore Management University (SMU) and Mrs Doreen Phua, managing director of World Scientific Publishing Company.

Here’s a video of the award ceremony highlights:

In addition to the awards ceremony, a panel discussion on opportunities and challenges for science in Asia was held. Moderated by Chan, the panel included Lim, Seet, Miller and Associate Professor Shirley Ho from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

The first place winner received a cash prize of S$8,000 while the second and third prize winners received S$5,000 and S$3,000 respectively, as well as personalized trophies commemorating their achievements.

The winner of the Science Centre Singapore Youth Writing Prize, a special category for entrants aged 13-18, was Ms. Kate Tan, a student at Raffles Institution (Junior College). Her essay discussing science and race beat more than 60 other youth entries to win the S$1,000 prize. The top four winners each received a fountain pen kindly sponsored by Pilot Pen.

The names of the ten merit award winners and ten honorable mention awardees are listed below. Each merit award winner received S$500 in book vouchers from World Scientific Publishing Company while each honorable mention awardee received a personalized certificate. Winners of the merit award and honorable mentions also walked away with a pen set from Pilot Pen.

Merit award winners

  1. Mr. Feng Zengkun, a journalist from Singapore.
  2. Dr. Gan Yunn Hwen, an associate professor at the Department of Biochemistry, National University of Singapore.
  3. Ms. Sarah Lazarus, a freelance writer from Hong Kong.
  4. Ms. Lee Fengting, an executive at the Institute of Mental Health in Singapore.
  5. Ms. Lee Kay Yan, a retail assistant from Singapore.
  6. Ms. Lim Yi Lin, a student at Temasek Junior College.
  7. Ms. Ruby Shaira Panela, a freelance science writer from the Philippines.
  8. Ms. Phyllis Poh, a student at the NUS High School of Maths and Science.
  9. Dr. Sudipto Roy, a scientist at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Singapore.
  10. Ms. Amanda Tan, a graduate student at the Nanyang Technological University.

Honorable mentions

  1. Mr. Choo Zheng Chen, a Singaporean student from Raffles Institution (Junior College).
  2. Mr. Chua Song Lin, a graduate student from the Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Science Engineering.
  3. Professor Richard de Grijs, a professor of Astrophysics and Astronomy in Peking University.
  4. Mr. Jason Fernandes, an IT entrepreneur from India.
  5. Dr. Leong Fong Yew, a scientist from the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing.
  6. Mr. Mohan Sundara Rajan, a freelance science writer who based in India.
  7. Mr. Sia Sin Wei, a school science lab assistant from Singapore.
  8. Dr. Pearl Toh Pei Chern, a research fellow at the Institute of Medical Biology in Singapore.
  9. Mr. Sudhir Vadaketh, a writer living in Singapore.
  10. Mr. Jean Ramon Yap, a graduate student from the Philippines studying at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

The top three winners will be published in the October 2015 issue of Asian Scientist Magazine and all entrants will be considered for inclusion in the Best of Scientific Writing from Asia 2015, a book that will be published under the Asian Scientist imprint later in the year.

Supporting organizations for the Asian Scientist Writing Prize include: Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), National Youth Council (NYC), Science & Development Network (, Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).


Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Asian Scientist Magazine is an award-winning science and technology magazine that highlights R&D news stories from Asia to a global audience. The magazine is published by Singapore-headquartered Wildtype Media Group.

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