China awards outstanding scientists

The 295 research achievements included 42 “natural science” prizes, 66 “technological invention” prizes, and 187 “sci-tech progress” prizes.

But the top accolade, the winners of which each get 762,000 U.S. dollars for groundbreaking work seen as bringing about huge economic or social benefit, has been left vacant this year.

According to the National Office for Science and Technology Awards, none of the three nominees achieved the 50-percent share of the votes necessary from the voting committee for the prize to be awarded.

This is the second time after 2004 that the top prize has gone to nobody.

According to an unidentified official with the office, Chinese pharmacologist Tu Youyou, who won the 2015 Nobel Prize, was not among the three nominees as no individuals or organizations had nominated her.

The official added that they have strictly followed the procedure of selecting prize winners.

Twenty-five scientists have received the top award in the past 15 years, including “father of hybrid rice” Yuan Longping and nuclear physicist Yu Min.

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