Sinocentism good, Eurocentrism bad

A new prize is being touted as a rival to the Nobels – thanks to outbidding the Nobel prize money at $1.7 million.

But note how Sinocentric it is:

Announced at a press conference today in Taipei, the Tang Prize, named after China’s Tang Dynasty, which Yin admires as a golden age for Chinese civilization, will be awarded biennially for work in sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology, and rule of law.

[Taiwanese businessman Samuel] Yin, who is endowing the Tang Prize Foundation with about $102 million, hopes “the prize will encourage more research that is beneficial to the world and humankind, promote Chinese culture, and make the world a better place,” according to a press release.

It is named for a Chinese dynasty; one of the four prizes will go to sinology; and it is explicitly aimed inter alia at promoting Chinese culture.

Blatant Sinocentism. But this is considered quite reasonable. A similar prize designed to “promote Western culture” would no doubt elicit a charges of “Eurocentrism.” Perhaps, though, we do need an Occident Prize.

(h/t Marginal Revolution)


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