MILLENNIUM TECHNOLOGICAL PRIZE | June 13, 2019
Cecilia Tortajada is the new member of the Millennium Technology Prize’s International Selection Committee. She works on impacts of global changes, water resources, environment, food and energy at National University of Singapore. “I expect this prize to stress the social value of technological development even further and how it has been used to improve the quality of life of human kind”, she says.
Why do we need the Millennium Technology Prize?
“Advancement in technology has profound implications for human kind. We need the Millennium Technology Prize for numerous reasons. One of them is to remind policy makers, administrators, scientists and population at large of the fundamental importance of technology from the social viewpoint. Technology has changed the world and improved the lives of millions of people, and it should continue being this way. Technological development should not be an end. It should be a means to an end, the end being improving quality of life.”
How would you encourage different organizations such as universities and industries to nominate candidates for the 2020 Prize?
“The prize is so important that it should be disseminated extensively on an international basis so that all institutions are aware of it. This should include the impacts of the innovations the prize laureates have developed and that have been significant on society as a whole. It should also include that winners of the prize receive very significant global recognition. Very few prizes I know of, in a short period of 10 years, have awarded laureates that in three cases, went on to win Nobel Prizes.”
What kind of expectations do you have of the nomination period 2019?
“The world is going through very exciting times and there is much support to technological development. There is the mistake, however, to think that change will come as a result of technology per se, when in reality change will come as a result of the proper use of technology by society, and this is something that can be done only by humans. The world is underestimating the intelligence of humans and putting it second to technology.”
This interview was published by MILLENNIUM TECHNOLOGICAL PRIZE, June 13, 2019.