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Zhihu's Beacon Prize awards 10 projects

By Xu Fan | | Updated: 2023-04-18 09:28
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China's largest Q&A platform Zhihu unveiled its 2022 Beacon Prize. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In April 2022, astrophysicist Liu Boyang relied on self-taught coding technique to make a program, successfully using a telescope to track and capture footage of the International Space Station, making him an internet celebrity.

On April 13, a few hours before he was scheduled to depart for Australia to film a total solar eclipse, he learned that his team's new program "Space Station Plan 2.0", which aims to capture the construction procedure of China's space station, has been selected as one of 10 award-winning projects of the Beacon Prize.

The Beacon Prize, initiated by China's largest Q&A platform Zhihu, has established a foundation to provide financial support of 1 million yuan ($145,528) to each project for its creation and production.

At Zhihu's conference last Thursday, Zhang Ning, vice-president of Zhihu's strategy sector, explained the reason for naming the prize "Beacon." He said: "Unlike other buildings on the horizon, a beacon is tall enough to require professional knowledge to reach its highest point and bright enough to overcome obstacles and provide guidance to people."

Covering a wide range from science to medicine, the winners also include food engineer Qian Cheng and his team, who plan to produce Flavors of Science, a documentary about industrial food; and a team of psychologists who plan to research patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

The Beacon Prize has also drawn in international talent, including Toshiyuki Honda, a Japanese animation director known for directing a series of Doraemon movies. Honda's project aims to document the preservation of traditional paper animation production processes and was selected as one of the ten winners of the Beacon Prize.

In addition, there are also award-winning projects that demonstrate a focus on traditional culture, such as the restoration of the ancient clocks in the Palace Museum by a team of experts who used 3D technology. Their project, titled Restoration and Research Reproduction of Palace Museum's Ancient Striking Clocks, showcases their efforts in repairing and preserving these cultural artifacts.

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