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The 2012 Kavli Prize

On Tuesday His Majesty King Harald presented the 2012 Kavli Prize for outstanding research in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience.


In line with previous years, the awards ceremony was part of a gala event held at Oslo Concert Hall with former Minister of Culture and singer Åse Kleveland and US actor Alan Alda as Masters of Ceremonies. The opening remarks were given by Nils Christian Stenseth, president of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

His Majesty presented the following Kavli Prizes:

  • The Kavli Prize in Astrophysics was awarded to David C. Jewitt, Jane X. Luu, and Michael E. Brown “for discovering and characterising 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 Prize in Nanoscience went to Mildred S. Dresselhaus “for her pioneering contributions to the study of phonons, electron-phonon interactions, and thermal transport in nanostructures.”
  • The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience was awarded to Cornelia Isabella Bargmann, Winfried Denk and Ann M. Graybiel “for elucidating basic neuronal mechanisms underlying perception and decision.”

Each Kavli Prize consists of USD 1 million, a scroll and a gold medal for each scientific field.

Promoting and recognising scientific achievement

The Kavli Prize was established to:

  • Recognise outstanding scientific research
  • Honour highly creative scientists
  • Promote public understanding of scientists and their work
  • Foster international cooperation among scientists

The Kavli Prize was awarded for the first time in 2008 and is awarded every second year in partnership between the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the Kavli Foundation (US) and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.

Official banquet

On Tuesday evening King Harald attended the official banquet held in honour of the Kavli Prize laureates.


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