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Pulitzer Prize Winner
Pulitzer Prize Winner
Reflects on Our Hot, Flat and Crowded World

On the occasion of inaugurating HKUST’s Division of Environment (ENVR), HKUST's Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) co-organized a talk with the Division on January 7,2010 with a theme that aptly refiected its mission and work.

Entitled "Refiections on Our Hot, Flat and Crowded World", the talk was delivered by three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Mr Thomas Friedman, who is known for his best seller "The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century”, launched in 2005.

In his talk Mr Friedman gave an incisive and provocative account of some of the world's alarming trends. Friedman explained how global warming, rapidly growing populations, and the astonishing expansion of the world’s middle class through globalization have produced a planet that is "hot, fiat, and crowded." He said governments of all nations should be tenacious and uncompromising in tackling the global warming issue. He also encouraged the audience in attendance to be vocal in asserting their claims about the environment.

The talk was followed by a discussion session chaired by HKUST President Tony Chan and an exchange session between prospective students and HKUST's faculty members on its latest undergraduate program in Environmental Science — BSc in Environmental Management and Technology (EVMT). Since the launch of the program, it has attracted so many applicants that it is ranked second in its competitiveness and third in popularity.

The inaugural ceremony was officiated by the Secretary for the Environment The Hon Edward Yau, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Sir Harold Kroto, Mr Thomas Friedman, Hang Lung Properties Chairman Mr Ronnie Chan, Civic Exchange CEO Dr Christine Loh, HKUST President Tony Chan, and Acting Head of ENVR Prof Chak Chan.

The talk has drawn many senior secondary school students. A group of University students in London also enjoyed instant access to Mr Friedman’s talk through web cast.To listen to the talk, please refer to IAS’s program archive at

Mr Thomas L. Friedman

A world-renowned journalist, Mr Thomas L. Friedman has won the Pulitzer Prize thrice for the books he authored, As the foreign-affairs columnist of New York Times, he has written extensively on US politics and foreign policies, global economy and environment issues, as well as Crisis in the Middle East. With his incisive, unrelenting and original commentaries, he is hailed as one of the most influential journalists in the world.