2020 - All Press Releases

Dr. Niels Peter Thomas receives Special Book Award of China

The award reflects his efforts to promote academic and scientific books from China to the global academic community.

Beijing | Heidelberg, 18 Dezember 2020

Today, the State Press and Publication Administration of the People's Republic of China presented a Special Book Award of China to Dr Niels Peter Thomas, Managing Director Books, Springer Nature. The award was granted in recognition of his remarkable contributions to the academic and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world through unremitting efforts to promote academic and scientific books from China to the global academic community. Dr Thomas was one of the few academic publishers among this year and previous years’ winners of the award.

The Special Book Award of China was set up in 2005 as the highest award for foreign writers, translators and publishers who have made outstanding contributions in introducing contemporary China overseas, promoting Chinese publications and culture, and facilitating exchanges and mutual learning between Chinese and foreign civilizations. 

Dr Thomas said: “I am very honoured to receive the award, which means a lot to me. It not only recognizes my recent work and, in particular, the unique position and role that academic communication plays in enhancing exchanges and mutual trust between China and the West, but also it highlights a wish that spans more than 30 years of my life: to gain a deeper understanding of China, sharing it with others and bring the world and people of all countries closer together.”

His association with China commenced in 1985 when teenage Thomas came to Beijing from Germany to live and study, and in 2010 he returned to Beijing again to work for Springer. As early as 1981, Springer had started publishing academic works in overseas markets for Chinese scientists including the famous mathematician Hua Loo Keng. After his arrival, Dr. Thomas set up a team to contact Chinese scholars, translate and publish their works overseas across a wide range of disciplines including economics and management, humanities and social sciences, and mathematics. "Since my first visit in 1985, China has undergone tremendous changes, so has the world. But one thing remains unchanged: books as a bridge are always connecting people and ideas to improve mutual understanding and facilitate the progress of humankind,” he said.

Currently based in Germany, Dr Thomas is responsible for publishing more than 13, 000 scientific and academic books every year by leading and managing a global book editorial team. However, he still pays much attention to books from China, and the efforts he initiated in China have been expanding ever since. Now, Springer Nature has set up co-publishing relationship with over 20 Chinese publishing houses, and publishes through two imprints Springer and Palgrave Macmillan, more than 400 books each year from Chinese scholars and publishing houses, among which are a growing number of books in humanities and social sciences across 50 China series covering all fields of the subject.

In 2019, Springer Nature additionally established China New Development Awards, which are granted annually to honour Chinese book authors who contribute significantly to the advancement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Dr Thomas stressed: “The world will see many more good-quality books in STM and HSS disciplines from China in the next coming years, so it is great to intensify exchanges between Chinese and Western publishers and researchers. What we have accomplished so far is not by me alone, but by many people’s efforts. I would like to thank my colleagues in Beijing and Shanghai offices for contributing consistently to the same goal, and sincerely thank all of our publishing partners in China for an excellent experience while working together.”

China-themed book series published or being published by Springer Nature include:

About Springer Nature Books:

Springer Nature is the largest academic book publisher worldwide with a strong legacy and expertise in book publishing. Using the latest technology to support research and learning as well as continuing to advance Open Access book publishing, Springer Nature publishes more than 13,000 high-quality books across numerous imprints every year. All books are available in both print and digital, going back to 1842.
The unrivalled eBook portfolio offers a diverse array of book types, including monographs, edited collections, reference works, and proceedings. Most Nobel laureates and Fields Medalists have published their books with Springer Nature, but also early-career scientists belong to our renowned group of authors.
The books published at Springer Nature comprise all research areas from STM (Science, Technology, Medicine) and HSS (Humanities, and Social Sciences). To date, Springer Nature offers more than 300,000 books in its webshop or on its content platform SpringerLink.

About Springer Nature

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Felicitas Behrendt | Communications Manager  | Springer Nature