The nine Kavli Prize winners from USA, Russia, Canada, Norway, Germany and United Kingdom received their prizes including a gold medal, a scroll and a share of 1 million US dollars in each of the three prize categories from His Majesty King Harald at an award ceremony in Oslo, Norway, today 9 September. The winners of the Kavli Prize in Astrophysics were the first to receive their prizes. Alan Alda, American actor, director and author, and Haddy N'jie, Norwegian-Gambian presenter, journalist, singer and songwriter, were the Masters of Ceremonies. The gala performance united science and culture in an event including a broad range of musical expressions, featuring artists who have shown their excellence in music. The Kavli Prize in Astrophysics, Nanoscience and Neuroscience is awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.
Haddy N'jie and Alan Alda. Photo: Måkon Mosvold Larsen/NTB Scanpix
Co-host Haddy N'jie paid tribute to the laureates by performing Nina Simone's "Everything must change" before Nils Chr. Stenseth, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, welcomed everybody to the award ceremony in Oslo Concert Hall to celebrate the achievements this year's Kavli Prize Laureates. He then introduced the hosts, Alan Alda and Haddy N'jie.
Astonishing scientific discoveries
The 2014 Kavli Prize winners in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience were selected for pioneering the theory of cosmic inflation, for transformative contributions to the field of nano-optics and for the discovery of specialized brain networks for memory and cognition.
The Kavli Prize in Astrophysics is shared between Alan H. Guth, Andrei D. Linde, and Alexei A. Starobinsky. They receive the prize "for pioneering the theory of cosmic inflation". The theory of cosmic inflation, proposed and developed by the three prize winners, has revolutionized our thinking about the Universe.
After the prize winners had found their seats on the stage, the audience could see a short film about each of the prize winners and get a glimpse of their work and hear they talk about the discoveries which have now given them the Kavli Prize. Mats Carlsson, chair of the selection committee, gave the reasons for the awarding of the prize before the laureates received their prizes from His Majesty King Harald.
Nils Chr. Stenseth, the President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, gave the opening speech. From left: Arne Bratass, chair of the nanoscience committee, Mats Carlsson, chair of the astrophysics commitee and Rockell N. Hankin, chairman of The Kavli Foundation
The Kavli Prize in Nanoscience is shared between Thomas W. Ebbesen, Stefan W. Hell and Sir John B. Pendry. They receive the Kavli Prize "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." With their respective work, they have challenged established beliefs about the resolution limits of optical imaging, showing that light can interact with nanostructures smaller than its wavelength.
The committee chair, Arne Brataas, gave the reasons for the awarding of the prize after the films presenting the winners had been shown. The laureates were then called forward to receive the gold medal and the scroll.
The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience is shared between Brenda Milner, John O'Keefe and Marcus E. Raichle. They receive the prize "for the discovery of specialized brain networks for memory and cognition." They have all played major roles in advancing our understanding of memory and in the development of techniques to measure the brain. The films about the prizewinners took us on a journey around their universities, into the labs and offices and offered a unique insight into what the daily working life of top scientists can be. The committee chair, Ole Petter Ottersen, gave the reasons for the awarding of the prize.
Then all the nine Kavli Prize Laureates entered the stage and received the applause from the audience present at the award ceremony in Oslo Concert Hall. The international audience attending the award ceremony included leading representatives of science from around the world, peers and guests of the laureates.