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article imageKavli science awards announced

By Tim Sandle     Jun 1, 2014 in Science
Researchers in nano-optics and in the neuroscience of memory were among the distinguished scientists who earned the 2014 Kavli prizes.
The Kavli Prize was established in 2005 through a joint venture between the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, and The Kavli Foundation. The main objective for the Prize is to honor, support and recognize scientists for outstanding scientific work in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience and award three international prizes every second year. Each of the three Kavli Prizes consists of a gold medal, a scroll, and a cash award of US $1,000,000.
The Kavli Prize in Astrophysics is shared between Alan H. Guth, Andrei D. Linde, and Alexei A. Starobinsky. The Kavli Prize in Nanoscience is shared between Thomas W. Ebbesen, Stefan W. Hell and Sir John B. Pendry.The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience is shared between Brenda Milner, John O’Keefe and Marcus E. Raichle.
Looking at some of the winners in more detail. Physicist Alan Guth of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been awarded the prestigious Kavli Prize in Astrophysics for “for pioneering the theory of cosmic inflation.”
The other Astrophysics prize went to Andrei D. Linde, Stanford University, USA, and Alexei A. Starobinsky, Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia. They have been honored for proposing and developing the theory of cosmic inflation that has revolutionized our thinking about the Universe.
Brenda Milner of McGill University, John O’Keefe of University College London, and Marcus Raichle of Washington University School of Medicine share the neuroscience award. Raichle is known for his work in developing neuroimaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). O’Keefe has made major contributions to understanding the role of the hippocampus in memory. Milner’s achievements rest in part on her groundbreaking work to describe various types of memory by studying an amnesiac patient known as H.M.
The colaureates in nanoscience are Thomas Ebbesen of the Université Louis Pasteur and Université de Strasbourg in France, Stefan Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Germany, and John Pendry of Imperial College London. The prizes here related to challenging established beliefs about the resolution limits of optical imaging, showing that light can interact with nanostructures smaller than its wavelength.
The announcement of the Kavlu prizes comes a few days after another important science prize was awarded, the Shaw Prize (for a list of winners refer to an earlier Digital Journal report).
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