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LIGO, atomic-scale microscopy, and brain remodeling garner awards
June 2, 2016
On June 2, 2016, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced the winners of its 2016 Kavli prizes in astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience. Ronald Drever and Kip Thorne of Caltech, and Rainer Weiss of MIT won the astrophysics prize for the direct detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO collaboration last year. Thorne and Weiss are both Fellows of the American Physical Society (APS), and the detection was published in the APS journal Physical Review Letters this year.
The nanoscience prize was awarded to Gerd Binnig (Definiens Inc.), Christoph Gerber (University of Basel), and Calvin Quate (Stanford University) for their development of atomic-force microscopy, which allows imaging of surfaces at a scale of nanometers. Quate is a Fellow of the APS.
Neuroscientists Eve Marder (Brandeis University), Michael Merzenich (University of California, San Francisco), and Carla Shatz (Stanford University) won the neuroscience prize for their work in understanding how the brain remodels itself in response to neural activity.
According to the announcement, winners of each Kavli prize share a cash award of US$ 1 million. In addition, each receives a gold medal and a scroll. Today’s announcement was made by Ole M. Sejersted, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and transmitted live to New York as part of a World Science Festival event where France Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation, delivered the keynote address.
First awarded in 2008, the Kavli Prize is a partnership between The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, The Kavli Foundation (U.S.), and The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. It is named after Fred Kavli, a Norwegian-born U.S. philanthropist and founder of The Kavli Foundation.