Skip to Content

The Kyoto Prize Symposium

San Diego’s Kyoto Prize Symposium is a three-day celebration of the lives and works of those receiving the Kyoto Prize, a lifetime achievement award presented annually to individuals and groups worldwide. Thanks to a grant from the Inamori Foundation, and the many generous supporters of the Benefit Gala, this year the symposium lectures will be presented in-person and virtually, and are open to the public at no charge. The symposium provides an opportunity for an international audience to learn about the achievements of the current Kyoto Prize Laureates and to discuss the relationship between their accomplishments and the common quest for peace and harmony in our world. Each year, the Symposium features lectures by the latest Kyoto Prize Laureates and esteemed scholars in the Laureates’ fields. The event includes representatives of business, government, independent peacemaking organizations, and academic institutions and societies.

The Kyoto Prize Symposium is co-hosted by UC San Diego & Point Loma Nazarene University.

Lecture Registration
(Coming Soon)

Kyoto Prize Symposium March 30 - 31, 2022

The University of California San Diego will host three lectures on March 30 and 31, 2022, as part of the Kyoto Prize Symposium. The annual event—co-hosted by UC San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University—featured talks from recipients of the prestigious Kyoto Prize, Japan’s highest honor for global visionaries who made scientific and cultural advancements that benefit mankind.

The Kyoto Prize Laureates

Advanced Technology

Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, Ph.D.

Computer Scientist

Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, Ph.D. is the Dean of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences at Tsinghua University. Dr. Yao created new trends in computer science and made a great contribution to cutting-edge research in diverse areas, including security, secure computing, and quantum computation, by establishing innovative fundamental theories for computation and communication. His achievements continue to influence current real-world challenges in such areas as security, secure computing, and big data processing.

Professor Andrew Chi-Chih Yao will be introduced by Professor Russell Impagliazzo, Professor of Computer Science

Kyoto Commemorative Lecture
Basic Sciences

Robert G. Roeder, Ph.D.

Biochemist and Molecular Biologist

Robert G. Roeder, Ph.D. is the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The Rockefeller University. Dr. Roeder has revealed the principle of the regulatory mechanism of gene transcription in eukaryotes through more than 50 years of research, by identifying the functions of a series of factors — including three distinct RNA polymerases, basic transcription factors, one of the first gene-specific factors, and regulators in transcription from chromatin. Through his achievements, he has made significant contributions to the development of the life sciences.

Professor Robert G. Roeder will be introduced by Professor James T. Kadonaga, Amylin Endowed Chair in Lifesciences Education and Research & Distinguished Professor

Kyoto Commemorative Lecture
Arts and Philosophy

Bruno Latour, Ph.D.


Bruno Latour, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus at the Paris Institute of Political Studies. Dr. Latour has revolutionized the conventional view of science by treating nature, humans, laboratory equipment, and other entities as equal actors, and describing technoscience as the hybrid network of these actors. In re-examining “modernity” based on the dualism of nature and society, Dr. Latour’s philosophy has become influential across disciplines, involving multifaceted activities including proposals relating to global environmental issues.

Professor Bruno Latour will be introduced by Professor John H. Evans, Tata Chancellor’s Chair of Social Sciences & Co-Director of the Institute for Practical Ethics

Kyoto Commemorative Lecture

Kyoto Prize Origin

The Kyoto Prize is an international award created by Japan’s non-profit Inamori Foundation to honor those who have contributed significantly to humankind’s scientific, cultural and spiritual development. Consisting of academic honors, a gold medal and a cash gift, it is Japan’s highest private award for global achievement.

Dr. Kazuo Inamori, who created the Kyoto Prize in 1984, is an international humanitarian and founder of many enterprises — including Kyocera Corporation and KDDI Corporation. Inamori established the Kyoto Prize for two reasons: first, to support his belief that there is no higher calling than to work for the greater good of all humankind; and second, to recognize those dedicated yet unsung people who improve the world through their research, science and art. Through the Kyoto Prize, Dr. Inamori hopes both to recognize the efforts and contributions to society made by these extraordinary people, and to stimulate them and others to still greater heights.

Kyoto Prize Scholarships

For the 21st consecutive year, the Kyoto Symposium Organization will offer its Kyoto Prize Scholarships to college-bound students from public and private high schools in both San Diego and Baja California. For the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year, three $10,000 scholarships will be offered in San Diego (including city and county school districts), and three MXN-100,000 scholarships will be offered in Baja California. As part of the application, students must read about a 2021 Kyoto Prize laureate and write three short essays describing how the laureate’s work inspires their own life, study or career plans.​


Past Laureates


For information about the Kyoto Prize Symposium, the San Diego Kyoto Symposium Organization or the Kyoto Prize scholarships, please contact:​

Dick Davis

For more information, visit:
Kyoto Prize
Inamori Foundation