Advancing Basic Science for Humanity
2012 Laureate Announcement Programs
Live Webcast from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Oslo and the World Science Festival, New York (click for webcast)
May 31, 2012; 8:15-10:00am Eastern Daylight Time
Live Webcast from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Oslo (click for webcast)
May 31, 2012; 9:00am-10:00am Eastern Daylight Time
DETAILED PROGRAM INFORMATION FOR BOTH WEBCASTS
Live Webcast from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Oslo and the World Science Festival, New York
May 31, 2012; 8:15-10:00am Eastern Daylight Time
Clockwise from Top Left: Drs. John P. Holdren, Angela Belcher, Thomas Jessell, Claire Max
THE NORWEGIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND LETTERS ANNOUNCES THE RECIPIENTS OF THE 2012 KAVLI PRIZES. Live feed of the announcements from Oslo, and live feed of a special program from the World Science Festival, New York.
The Kavli Prizes recognize scientists whose discoveries have dramatically expanded human understanding in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. Consisting of a scroll, medal and cash award of one million dollars, a prize in each of these areas has been awarded biennially since 2008.
A live webcast includes the announcements from Oslo by Nils Christian Stenseth, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, as well as a special Kavli Prize program from the World Science Festival in New York, featuring opening remarks by John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). From the Festival, three extraordinary scientists will also join a panel to discuss the winning achievements.The panelists are:
Moderators Adam Rutherford, BBC and Nature, and Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News.
- Astrophysics - Claire Max, University of California, Santa Cruz
- Nanoscience - Angela Belcher, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Neuroscience - Thomas Jessell, Columbia University
Moderating the announcements from Oslo will be Adam Rutherford, BBC and Nature. Moderating the program and panel discussion from New York will be Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News. Opening the program will be Brian Greene, Co-Founder of the World Science Festival, physicist, and best-selling author.
ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS
ANNOUNCING THE 2012 KAVLI PRIZE ANNOUNCEMENTS
Nils Christian Stenseth is president of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, which was founded in 1857 and is a non-governmental, nationwide and interdisciplinary body whose main purpose is the advancement of science and scholarship in Norway. Stenseth is also Professor and Chair of the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, which is based at the Department of Biology, University of Oslo, and is dedicated to the integration of interdisciplinary scientific fields to study ecological and evolutionary processes. Stenseth is an elected member/fellow of several other academies, including the DKNVS, Academia Europaea, French Académie des Sciences and the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters. He has been awarded honorary doctorates (Doctor Honoris Causa) at the University of Antwerpen, Belgium and the École Normale Supéreure, Lyon, France. He is a Chevalier (Knight) in the French National Order of the Legion of Honour and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Climate Research.
John P. Holdren is Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). An aerospace engineer and plasma physicist by training, he is one of the nation’s foremost experts on energy technology, nuclear arms control and nonproliferation, and global environmental change. Since joining the administration in 2009 he has focused on ensuring that federal policies are supported by sound science while working to create science and technology jobs; strengthen science, engineering, and math education; reduce reliance on energy imports; mitigate climate change; and support the application of biomedical science and information technology to help all Americans live healthy and connected lives.
Before he was appointed to the White House position, Holdren was a professor at Harvard in both the Kennedy School of Government and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, as well as director of the nonprofit Woods Hole Research Center, which focuses on climate change science and policy. His numerous awards include the John Heinz Prize in Public Policy, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, and a 1981 MacArthur Prize Fellowship. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as a foreign member of the British Royal Society—Britain’s academy of sciences.
Claire Max served on the 2012 Kavli Prize Committee for Astrophysics. Max is a pioneer in the field of adaptive optics, a technology that removes the blurring effects of turbulence in the Earth's atmosphere, allowing telescopes on the ground to see as clearly as if they were in space. A coinventor of the laser guide star technique for astronomical adaptive optics, she has helped revolutionize the capabilities of ground-based telescopes. Max is a Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics Astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz and UC Observatories, and directs the Center for Adaptive Optics, a Science and Technology Center funded by the National Science Foundation. She has been active in the development of advanced adaptive optics systems for current and future large ground-based telescopes. Her current research in astronomy involves the use of adaptive optics to study merging black holes at the centers of galaxies. Earlier in her career, Max studied the plasma physics aspects of laser fusion at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). She made important contributions to laser-plasma interactions and to the understanding of astrophysical plasmas.
Angela Belcher combines chemistry, molecular biology and electrical engineering to understand how living things make molecular-scale materials and incorporate their tricks into new organic-inorganic hybrid technologies. A materials chemist and the head of the Biomolecular Materials Group at MIT, she has genetically engineered viruses to grow nanoscale structures that can be used in batteries, solar cells and other clean energy sources. Materials she has developed can also be used to diagnose diseases, and eventually—she hopes—power cars. Belcher is the W. M. Keck Professor of Energy at MIT. She received her Ph.D. and did postdoctoral work at the University of California, Santa Barbara, then became assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Texas, Austin, until joining the MIT faculty in 2002. In the past decade she has founded two start-ups and has received numerous national awards, including a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and a Four Star General Recognition Award from the U.S. Army. Scientific American named Belcher “Research Leader of the Year” in 2006, TIME magazine named her a “Hero” in 2007 for her research on climate change, and in 2009, Rolling Stone named her one of the “100 People Who Are Changing the World.”
Thomas Jessell has made fundamental contributions to neuroscience by revealing the basic principles of how our nervous system communicates. His work has defined how the neurons that make up the sensory-motor system develop into diverse types, how they wire themselves together, and how that very precise wiring controls refined motor skills such as locomotion and object manipulation. By identifying how sensory motor neurons are connected, Jessell has opened the door to potential strategies to treat and cure neurodegenerative diseases that impair movement, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Jessell is Claire Tow Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University. He is also an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a co-director of the Columbia/Kavli Institute for Brain Science. Jessell is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, and was a co-recipient of the first-ever Kavli Prize in Neuroscience in 2008. In March, his work was recognized with the Canadian Gairdner Foundation award.
NORWEGIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND LETTERS
Adam Rutherford is a science writer and broadcaster with a degree in evolutionary biology and a PhD in genetics. He is currently an editor at the science journal Nature where he makes podcasts and and short films about new research, and writes for The Guardian (United Kingdom). As a science writer, he covers all fields while specializing in evolution and human biology. Adam has made "Men In White" for Channel 4 (UK), "The Cell" and "The Gene Code" for BBC 4. The former was broadcast in over 40 countries and placed in the Daily Telegraph’s list of 10 Classic science programs. He has conducted several interviews for The Culture Show, BBC 2. He has made a number of documentaries for Radio 4 and presented the two flagship science magazine shows, "Science In Action" and "Material World."
WORLD SCIENCE FESTIVAL
Dr. Richard Besser is ABC News’ chief health and medical editor. In this role, he provides medical analysis and commentary for all ABC News broadcasts and platforms, including World News with Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America, and Nightline. Since his arrival at ABC News in 2009, Besser has been at the forefront of news coverage for every major medical story. Besser came to ABC News from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he served as director of the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response. In that role, he was responsible for all of the CDC’s public health emergency preparedness and emergency response activities. He also served as acting director for the CDC and acting administrator for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry from January to June 2009, during which time he led the CDC’s response to the H1N1 influenza outbreak.
Live Webcast from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Oslo,
May 31, 2012 9:00am - 10:00am EDT
THE NORWEGIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND LETTERS ANNOUNCES THE RECIPIENTS OF THE 2012 KAVLI PRIZES.
Live feed of the announcements from Oslo begins at 9:00 am, with Vice-President of the Academy Kirsti Strøm Bull welcoming Adam Rutherford, followed by the President of the Academy, Professor Nils Chr. Stenseth, announcing the 2012 Kavli Prize laureates. This will be followed by a discussion in Oslo led by Rutherford with the chairs of the Kavli Prize committees:
- Professor Oddbjørn Engvold, University of Oslo (Chairman of the The Kavli Prize Committee in Astrophysics).
- Professor Arne Skjeltorp, University of Oslo (Chairman of the The Kavli Prize Committee in Nanoscience).
- Professor Jon Storm-Mathisen, University of Oslo (Chairman of the The Kavli Prize Committee in Neuroscience).