Professor Usha Goswami receives Yidan Prize for Education Research
Dr Charles Chen Yidan, co-founder of Chinese internet giant Tencent, presented the Yidan Prize for Education Research to Professor Usha Goswami at a ceremony at the Fitzwilliam Museum.
Professor of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience, Usha Goswami is a Fellow of St John’s College and heads the world’s first Centre for Neuroscience in Education, which she established at the University of Cambridge. Through her research, she has identified the importance of children’s awareness of linguistic rhythm patterns in learning to read. She has also revealed how the neural process of rhythm perception is impaired in developmental dyslexia. Her discoveries are enabling transformative educational interventions with the potential to benefit millions of children worldwide.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Charles Chen Yidan commented:
“At the Yidan Prize Foundation, we continue to be grateful for the recommendations made by our independent Judging Committee. We hold high respect for Professor Goswami’s visionary approach to answer for our children’s well-being and their future. It is exciting to see her ground-breaking work setting the scientific basis in understanding how we can help every child succeed. As education continues to drive forward fundamental changes in our societies, it is our hope that deeper knowledge into brain functions would open new possibilities for better access to learning. Therefore, we are so pleased to be working closely with Professor Goswami, supporting her inspiring work which could benefit millions of children. We all know that having the right environment for individuals to thrive is so important, and we greatly anticipate that, here in Cambridge, exciting findings will open doors for passionate educators to apply innovative technology and solutions to create a more inclusive global community.”
Professor Goswami received a gold medal and HK$30 million (around £3 million). Half is a cash prize and the other half will further fund Professor Goswami’s research, which has already opened up crucial insights into the causes of dyslexia. The Yidan Prize project funding (approx. £1.5 million) will allow Professor Goswami to expand her research into developmental language disorders.
“I am deeply honoured to receive the Yidan Prize, and to have my research in educational neuroscience, language and literacy recognised by the Foundation. Every child born into the world brings a new brain, a brain that may illuminate the path forward for humankind. By improving our understanding of language and literacy development, we should be able to help all the world’s children to optimise their learning.”