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Inaugural Kavli Prizes presented

The recently instituted Kavli Prizes are awarded for outstanding research in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon presented the 2008 prizes at an awards ceremony held in Oslo Concert Hall on 9 September. 


The prizewinners were announced simultaneously on 28 May at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo and at the World Science Summit in New York City. The 2008 Kavli Laureates are:

  • Nanoscience: Louis E. Brus, of Columbia University, US, and Sumio Iijima, of Meijo University in Japan

  • Neuroscience: Pasko Rakic, of the Yale University School of Medicine, USA, Thomas Jessell, of Columbia University, USA, and Sten Grillner, of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden

  • Astrophysics: Maarten Schmidt, of the California Institute of Technology, USA, and Donald Lynden-Bell, of Cambridge University, England.

In its announcement of the inaugural recipients, the Academy president stated: “The laureates were selected for their groundbreaking research that has significantly advanced our understanding of the unusual properties of matter on an ultra-small scale, the basic circuitry of the brain and the nature of quasars.”

The prize in each category consists of a scroll, medal and cash award of one million dollars. The Kavli Prizes are sponsored and awarded in collaboration between the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, and the Kavli Foundation. A prize in each area will be awarded every two years.

Three of the Kavli Laureates subsequently gave official lectures at the universities in Oslo, Trondheim and Stavanger.

(Source: The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters)

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