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The 2014 Kavli Prizes

On Tuesday His Majesty King Harald presented the Kavli Prizes at Oslo Concert Hall. The nine Kavli Prize laureates were selected on the basis of their pioneering work in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience.


For the first time, the Kavli Prize was presented to a Norwegian: Thomas W. Ebbesen of the University of Strasbourg, France. The other laureates are from Canada, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US.

The award ceremony at Oslo Concert Hall was hosted by the Norwegian television personality and performing artist Haddy N'jie and the US actor Alan Alda.

The smallest, the largest and the most complicated

King Harald presented the following Kavli Prizes:

  • The Kavli Prize in Astrophysics was awarded to Alan H. Guth, Andrei D. Linde and Alexei A. Starobinsky “for pioneering the theory of cosmic inflation”. The theory of cosmic inflation, which was presented and developed by the three laureates, has revolutionised our understanding of the universe.

  • The Kavli Prize in Nanoscience was awarded to Thomas W. Ebbesen, Stefan W. Hell and Sir John B. Pendry “for their transformative contributions to the field of nano-optics that have broken long-held beliefs about the limitations of the resolution limits of optical microscopy and imaging”.

  • The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience was awarded to Brenda Milner, John O’Keefe and Marcus E. Raichle “for the discovery of specialised brain networks for memory and cognition”.

The Kavli Prize consists of USD 1 million for each scientific field. The nine laureates received a gold medal and scroll as well. The Kavli Prize is presented by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

Awarded for the fourth time

The Kavli Prizes in Astrophysics, Nanoscience and Neuroscience are presented every other year and were first awarded in 2008.

The prize bears the name of the Norwegian-American businessman Fred Kavli, the founder of the award. This time the award ceremony took place without Mr Kavli, who died in November 2013 at the age of 86.

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


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