Royal celebration of extraordinary scientific achievements
Norway's King Harald presented the 2012 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics, Nanoscience and Neuroscience to the seven laureates at an award ceremony on 4 September, at Oslo Concert Hall. Each of the prize winners received a gold medal, a scroll and a share of the prize money of USD 1 million in each of the scientific fields. Mildred Dresselhaus, often called the queen of nano, made history when she as the first Kavli Prize laureate received the prize as a sole winner. This is also the first time the Kavli Prize is award to female scientists. Four of the seven winners are women representing all three prize categories.
The Kavli Prize in Astrophysics is shared between David Jewitt, University of California, USA, Jane Luu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and Michael Edwards Brown, California Institute of Technology, USA. They receive the prize "for discovering and characterizing the Kuiper Belt and its largest members, work that led to a major advance in the understanding of the history of our planetary system."
The Kavli Neuroscience The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience is shared between Cornelia Isabella Bargmann, Rockefeller University, USA, Winfried Denk, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Germany, and Ann M. Graybiel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. They received the prize "for elucidating basic neuronal mechanisms underlying perception and decision."
The Kavli Prize in Nanoscience is given to Mildred Dresselhaus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, "for her pioneering contributions to the study of phonons, electron-phonon interactions, and thermal transport in nanostructures."
Artist and former Minister of Culture Åse Kleveland, and the American actor, director and writer Alan Alda hosted the award ceremony.
The Kavli Prizes are a partnership between The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, The Kavli Foundation (USA) and The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.