Taiwan won 2 gold and 2 silver medals in the 31st International Biology Olympiad, ranking 4th among participating countries
The 31st International Biology Olympiad (IBO), which was to be hosted in Nagasaki, Japan, was held as an online competition because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The R.O.C. Ministry of Education entrusted National Sun Yat-sen University with the organization of the competition in Taiwan. The national IBO committee, chaired by Professor Jiin-Tsuey Cheng and the Emeritus Professor David Chao of the Department of Biological Sciences, is formed by 20 professors from universities nationwide. The committee is responsible for four levels of selection and the training of our national representatives. This year, 4,646 high school students in Taiwan joined the competition, and 4 national representatives were selected after 4 levels of selection.
According to a recent report, 212 students representing 53 countries participated in the remote IBO competition. Taiwan representatives, Cheng-Chun Yang from the Chien-Kuo Senior High School and Chien-I Chen from the National Experimental High School at Hsinchu Science Park, won two gold medals. Chi-Sheng Huang from the Taichung Municipal Taichung First Senior High School and Hsiang-Chun Chang from the National Yilan Senior High School won two silver medals. Taiwan ranked as the top fourth among the participating countries, outranked only by the USA, Russia, and China, whose representatives won three gold and one silver medals.
NSYSU said that in this edition, 21 gold and 42 silver medals were awarded and that the representatives of Taiwan were outstanding, especially the two silver medalists, Chi-Sheng Huang and Hsiang-Chun Chang, who were also recognized by the Organizing Committee of IBO 2020 as the Champions of Hard Theoretical Questions.
The team of Taiwan led by the team leader Professor Jiin-Tsuey Cheng of the Department of Biological Sciences at NSYSU, and the deputy team leader – Associate Professor Shu-Chuan Hsiao of National Chung Hsing University. Team members included faculty members of the Department of Biological Sciences at NSYSU: Professor Yu-Chung Chiang, Associate Professor Shen-Horn Yen, and Emeritus Professor Jong-Kang Liu, Professor Ying Wang of National Taiwan Normal University, Professor Yi-Ling Yang of National Chiayi University, teacher Chiu-Hsin Chu of Taichung Municipal Taichung First Senior High School, teacher Fang-Lin Chu of Chien-Kuo Senior High School. The team assisted with the translation of the exam questions and arbitration of disputes about the results. Associate Professor Jyh-Wei Shin of National Cheng Kung University and Associate Professor Kuei-Shu Tung of National Taiwan University assisted with the supervision of the online competition exam.
K-12 Education Administration of the Ministry of Education expressed gratitude to the team led by Professor Jiin-Tsuey Cheng and the Director of the Center for Continuing Education at NCKU Jyh-Wei Shin for supporting the facilities used for the remote IBO competition. In 2021, Portugal will host the 32nd IBO in Lisbon. Taiwan will continue to select and train national representatives to participate in the upcoming IBO to promote international relations and broaden students’ global vision.
Taiwan joined the IBO since 1999 and its contestants have demonstrated excellent performance, winning a total of 63 gold medals, 22 silver medals, and 3 bronze medals, and gold medals for overall rank in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.