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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, the symposium lectures are 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 Open

Kyoto Prize Symposium March 15 & 17, 2023

The University of California San Diego will host three lectures on March 15 and 17, 2023, as part of the Kyoto Prize Symposium. The annual event—co-hosted by UC San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University—features 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

Carver Mead, Ph.D.

Electronics Engineer and Applied Physicist

Carver Mead, Ph.D. is the Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, at California Institute of Technology. Mead’s pioneering contributions to the field of electronics include proposing and promoting a new methodology to divide the design process of very large-scale integration (VLSI) systems into logic, circuit, and layout designs, and separating them from the manufacturing process. He also contributed greatly to the advancement of computer-aided design technology, paving the way to VLSI design automation and facilitating the revolutionary development of today’s VLSI-based electronics and industry.

Prof. Carver Mead will be introduced by Prof. Andrew B. Kahng, Endowed Chair in High-Performance Computing, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

Kyoto Commemorative Lecture »

Advanced Technology Registration
Basic Sciences

Bryan T. Grenfell, Ph.D.

Population Biologist

Bryan T. Grenfell, Ph.D. is the Kathryn Briger and Sarah Fenton Professor of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Grenfell proposed phylodynamics as a methodology to predict the infectious disease dynamics of RNA viruses by considering viral evolution, thus contributing to the development of research fields that integrate immune dynamics, epidemiology, and evolutionary biology. These achievements have been instrumental in understanding infection mechanisms and proposing effective infectious disease control policies.

Prof. Bryan T. Grenfell will be introduced by Prof. Justin Meyer, Associate Professor, UCSD Department of Ecology, Behavior & Evolution

Kyoto Commemorative Lecture »

Basic Sciences Registration
Arts and Philosophy

Zakir Hussain

Tabla Player

Zakir Hussain is a Grammy award-winning tabla musician who has opened new possibilities beyond the framework of traditional Indian music in collaboration with artists of other diverse genres worldwide. Hussain’s performance innovations include a unique method of creating melodies on the tabla, originally regarded as a rhythmic instrument of accompaniment. In the process, he has expanded the tabla’s possibilities and established it as one of the most expressive percussion instruments in the world. With his superb technique, engaging performances, and rich creativity, he has made a tremendous impact on world music audiences and performers alike.

Mr. Zakir Hussain will be introduced by Prof. Kartik Seshadri, World renowned sitarist, and distinguished composer and educator in Indian Classical Music

Kyoto Commemorative Lecture »

Arts & Philosophy Registration

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 22nd consecutive year, the Kyoto Symposium Organization offers its Kyoto Prize Scholarships to college-bound students from public and private high schools in both San Diego and Baja California. Each year, three $10,000 scholarships are offered in San Diego (including city and county school districts), and three MXN-100,000 scholarships are offered in Baja California. As part of the application, students read about a current 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 more information on San Diego’s Kyoto Prize Symposium and its high school scholarships please contact:

Dick Davis

For more information, visit:
Kyoto Prize Symposium
Inamori Foundation