Awarded since 1967, it is given annually in honour of French or foreign authors whose work constitutes, in a scientific or literary form, a message of modern humanism.Thuan, professor at the University of Virginia, USA, is the first Vietnamese, and the second Asian to obtain the award. He, the first recognised as both a scientist and writer, yesterday picked up his 300,000 euros (US$376,000) prize in Paris.
According to the French Institute, Thuan's work presented a complex and subtle view of the universe and human role in it. They appreciated his goal to help ordinary people understand the subliminal elements of the world around them through his reflection and philosophical theology.
To date, Thuan has launched a dozen works. His latest book "The Quantum and the Lotus," published in 2001, was awarded the 2012 Louis Pauwels prize. For his tireless efforts, he received the Kalinga Prize from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2009 while his earlier work "The Infinite in the Palm: From Big Bang to Enlightenment" (2000) won the 2000 Asian Literary Association of Francophone writers award.
Since 1969, the Cino Del Duca Prize has been handed out to only one person annually, skipping a year in 2011.