The 27th Annual Kyoto Prize Laureates


Presentations by revolutionary materials scientist, astrophysicist and Kabuki actor are free and open to the public

SAN DIEGO — (The Inamori Foundation and the Kyoto Symposium Organization today announced that they will celebrate San Diego’s eleventh annual Kyoto Prize Symposium by showcasing the latest laureates of the Kyoto Prize — Japan’s highest private award for global achievement. The event begins March 20, 2012 with a scholarship benefit gala at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel, and continues with free presentations that are open to the public, March 21-22, at area universities

Dr. Irwin Jacobs, co-founder of QUALCOMM, will reprise his role as honorary chairman of the symposium, which is co-hosted by San Diego State University, UC San Diego, University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University.

“The Kyoto Prize Symposium serves as an extraordinary resource for the San Diego-Baja region and a source of inspiration for our youth,” stated David Doyle, chairman of the non-profit Kyoto Symposium Organization and partner of Morrison Foerster in San Diego. “Each year our community is enriched through the unique presentations given by the Kyoto Prize laureates — some of the world’s most brilliant scientists and innovative artists.”

Symposium Events Featuring the 27th Kyoto Prize Laureates

• In Advanced Technology: Dr. John W. Cahn, 84 (materials scientist; citizenship: U.S.), is an emeritus senior fellow at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology and affiliate professor at University of Washington. By establishing the theory of three-dimensional spinodal decomposition, Dr. Cahn made a landmark contribution to the materials sciences — facilitating the development of new metals, glass, semiconductors, and polymers with unprecedented characteristics. By taking trial and error out of the development process, Dr. Cahn’s theory has enabled scientists worldwide to solve the toughest engineering challenges, using “designer” materials with extreme properties of strength, thermal conductivity, pore permeability, heat resistance and magnetism. He will speak at San Diego State University, 10:00-11:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 21.

• In Basic Sciences: Dr. Rashid A. Sunyaev, 69 (astrophysicist; dual citizenship: Russia and Germany), will take guests on a “journey through time” to the very birth of our universe. Dr. Sunyaev serves as director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, chief scientist at the Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, and visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. As a young scientist, Dr. Sunyaev startled the world with his theory that observable fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation are actually 13.7 billion-year-old echoes of the Big Bang. His theories remain at the foundation of today’s precise observational cosmology. NASA credited his work earlier this year in its discovery of “El Gordo”, the largest galaxy cluster in the early universe. He will speak at University of California San Diego, Price Center Ballrooms A and B, 3:30-5:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 21.

• In Arts and Philosophy: Tamasaburo Bando V, 61 (Kabuki actor; citizenship: Japan), demonstrates an elegant beauty that crosses the genres of performing arts. Tamasaburo is one of Japan’s most famous Kabuki actors, known for performing onnagata (female roles) in the all-male Kabuki tradition. He believes that Kabuki — and performing arts in general — must use live theatrical space to bring audiences into the illusions, ideals, and imagination of the actor. Beyond Kabuki, he has been featured by the Metropolitan Opera and has performed with renowned artists from around the globe. His films includeGekashitsu (The Operating Room), which he co-wrote and directed; and Andrzej Wajda’sNastasja, in which he played both leading roles. He will speak at University of San Diego’s Shiley Theatre, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Thursday, March 22.

Eight outstanding high school seniors will further benefit from the program through the 2012-2013 Kyoto Scholarships, which are given to students from San Diego and Tijuana who have been inspired by the laureates to better society through their life’s work. A total of $60,000 in scholarships will be presented in the categories of advanced technology, basic sciences, and arts and philosophy. The benefit gala, “The Kyoto Prize: Celebrating Outstanding Lifetime Achievement,” funds the Kyoto Scholarship program and opens the Kyoto Prize Symposium at 5:30 p.m., March 20, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel. Presiding as honorary gala chair is Masashi Oka, president and CEO of Union Bank.