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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.

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Kyoto Prize Symposium March 13 - 14, 2024

The University of California San Diego will host three lectures on March 13 - 14, 2024, 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

Ryuzo Yanagimachi, D.Sc.

Reproductive Biologist

In Advanced Technology, the 2023 Kyoto Prize laureate is reproductive biologist Ryuzo Yanagimachi, D.Sc., professor emeritus, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, who has made revolutionary contributions to both obstetric medicine and mammalian embryology through his research and development of assisted reproductive technologies. In particular, Prof. Yanagimachi’s work has led to practical methods of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) at a time of declining birthrates in many nations — offering new possibilities to couples who would otherwise be unable to have children. A recipient of over two dozen awards, Prof. Yanagimachi received the Pioneer Award for Embryo Transfer and Reproduction Research (2000 & 2012), and was inducted to the National Academy of Sciences in 2001.

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Basic Sciences

Elliott H. Lieb, Ph.D.

Mathematician and Physicist

In Basic Sciences, the 2023 Kyoto Prize laureate is mathematician and physicist Elliott Lieb, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics and Higgins Professor of Physics Emeritus, Princeton University. Prof. Lieb established a foundation for mathematical research in fields such as physics, chemistry, and quantum information science using many-body physics, while making significant contributions to mathematical analysis as well. Among many other applications, his research supports next-generation technologies in quantum computing which will harness the laws of quantum mechanics to solve problems too complex for today’s computers. Lieb is a recipient of many global prizes including his 1992 Max Planck Medal of the German Physical Society and his 2022 APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research.

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Arts and Philosophy

Nalini Malani


In Arts and Philosophy, the 2023 Kyoto Prize laureate is Nalini Malani, an international artist specializing in a broad range of visual genres including video, projection, painting and drawing installations. Her childhood experience as a refugee during the partition of India and Pakistan gives her art unique power to elevate the oppressed and express the voices of the voiceless, contributing to a decentralization of art. Her works have been shown worldwide, most recently in a solo exhibition that concluded June 11, 2023 at The National Gallery, London. Malani received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute (2010) and was the first non-Western artist to receive the presigious Joan Miró Prize (2019).

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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 23rd 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 a short essay 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

Marisa Lin

For more information, visit:
Kyoto Prize
Inamori Foundation