Report from Kyoto Ceremony at Athenaeum Nov. 28


“Think of these Laureates as a treasure that you can come and see in San Diego in the spring.”  Speaking at a Nov. 28 reception at the Athenaeum in La Jolla, Stephen Welter shared impressions from his first-ever participation as a San Diego delegate at the recent Kyoto Prize Ceremony. Welter, San Diego State University’s Vice President for Research, was joined at the Athenaeum podium by UC San Diego oceanographer Walter Munk, who fondly recalled his 1999 trip to Japan to receive that year’s Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences.

Munk and Welter were among 25 San Diegans who attended the Nov. 10-12 Kyoto Prize festivities and met the Laureates: Dr. Ivan Sutherland, a computer scientist who received the Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology, Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi, a molecular cell biologist who received the Kyoto Prize for Basic Sciences, and Prof. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, a theorist and educator who received the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy.

Welter gave a synopsis of each Laureate’s presentation at the ceremony and said that each Laureate “explores the human struggle in a very interesting way.  Dr. Ohsumi’s focus is on figuring out how and why things work.  Dr. Sutherland wants to find ways to make the world a little bit better.  And Prof. Spivak is helping us see the meaning of it all.”