Science prizes given for findings in brain, cosmos

May 29, 2014 by Malcolm Ritter

Nine scientists won awards Thursday for theories about the first moments of the universe, discoveries about the brain and techniques to let researchers see ever-tinier things.

The winners, announced by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, will share three $1 million Kavli Prizes. Awarded biennially since 2008, the prizes are named after philanthropist Fred Kavli, a native of Norway. Kavli died last November.

The prize for astrophysics goes to Alan Guth of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Andrei Linde of Stanford University, and Alexei Starobinsky of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. They were honored for developing the theory of inflation, which holds that the universe grew extremely quickly in the first split-second after its birth in the Big Bang.

The theory, formulated in the 1980s, hit the headlines this past March when other scientists reported seeing evidence for it in the cosmos.

The prize for neuroscience was awarded to Brenda Milner of McGill University in Montreal, John O'Keefe of University College London, and Marcus Raichle of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Milner and O'Keefe linked specific regions of the brain to particular kinds of memory and mental skills. Raichle designed techniques to visualize the workings of the human brain and discovered key patterns in activity.

The prize for nanoscience, the study of structures smaller than a bacterium, for example, is shared by Thomas Ebbesen of the University of Strasbourg in France, Stefan Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Goettingen, Germany, and Sir John Pendry of Imperial College London. Their work has helped researchers use ordinary light to get images of very tiny things, which the Norwegian academy said promises to aid such fields as physics, chemistry and biomedical sciences.

The Kavli prizes are a joint program of the academy, the California-based Kavli Foundation and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The will be awarded in Oslo, Norway, in September.

Explore further: Fred Kavli, science research supporter, dies at 86

More information: Kavli Foundation: www.kavlifoundation.org

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

7 scientists share $1 million prizes for research

May 31, 2012

(AP) — Seven scientists won prizes Thursday for discoveries that involve the furthest reaches of the solar system, vanishingly tiny materials and the complexities of the brain. One finding helped end Pluto's status as ...

8 scientists share lucrative Kavli Prizes

Jun 03, 2010

(AP) -- Eight scientists from the U.S., Britain and Germany shared three awards worth $1 million each on Thursday for work that has helped humans explore distant corners of the universe and the tiniest particles on Earth.

Russia's Yakov Sinai wins Abel mathematics prize

Mar 26, 2014

Russian mathematician Yakov Sinai won the prestigious Abel mathematics prize for his work in dynamical systems and mathematical physics, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Activists urge EU to scrap science advisor job

14 hours ago

Nine major charities urged the European Commission on Tuesday to scrap a science advisor position it says puts too much power over sensitive policy into the hands of one person.

More to a skilled ear in music

Aug 15, 2014

The first pilot study in Australia to give musicians the skills and training to critically assess music by what they hear rather than what they see begins this month at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.The study aims to ...

User comments : 0