Bruno Latour, Professor Emeritus at Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), received the 2021 Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy for his radically re-examining “modernity” by developing a philosophy that focuses on interactions between technoscience and social structure. Latour’s Commemorative Lecture “How to React to a Change in Cosmology” will be released on November 10, 2021, 10:00 AM JST at the 2021 Kyoto Prize Special Website.
“Viruses–we don’t even know if viruses are our enemies or our friends!” says Latour in his lecture. By using the ongoing Covid epidemic as a sort of lead, Latour discusses the shift in cosmology, a structure that distributes agencies around. He then suggests a “new project” we have to work on now, which he assumes is very different from the modernist project.
Bruno 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. His philosophy re-examines “modernity” based on the dualism of nature and society. He has a large influence across disciplines, with his multifaceted activities that include proposals regarding global environmental issues.
Latour and the other two 2021 Kyoto Prize laureates are introduced on the 2021 Kyoto Prize Special Website with information about their work, profiles, and three-minute introduction videos. The Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology for this year went to Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, Professor of Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences at Tsinghua University, and Basic Sciences to Robert G. Roeder, Arnold and Mabel Beckman Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The Rockefeller University.
About Kyoto Prize
The Kyoto Prize is an international award of Japanese origin, presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the progress of science, the advancement of civilization, and the enrichment and elevation of the human spirit. The Prize is granted in the three categories of Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences; Arts and Philosophy, each of which comprises four fields, making a total of 12 fields. Every year, one Prize is awarded in each of the three categories with prize money of 100 million yen per category.
One of the distinctive features of the Kyoto Prize is that it recognizes both “science” and “arts and philosophy” fields. This is because of its founder Kazuo Inamori’s conviction that the future of humanity can be assured only when there is a balance between scientific development and the enrichment of the human spirit.
- Kyoto Prize website: https://www.kyotoprize.org/en/
- The 2021 Kyoto Prize Special Website: https://www.kyotoprize.org/en/2021/