Thursday, May 31, 2012

NYC, World Science Festival | The 2012 Kavli Prizes

The World Science Festival in New York opened its second day with the announcement of the 2012 Kavli Prize winners, announced with a live webcast from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letter in Oslo. The Kavli Prizes recognize scientists in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience.

The Kavli Prize for astrophysics this year "honoured the individuals who showed that there is much more to the solar system and whose work prompted astronomers to re-evaluate what it means to be a planet." The 2012 prize winners are David C. Jewitt, Jane X. Luu, Michael E. Brown, whose research has focused on the Kuiper Belt, shown below.

The prize for nanoscience was awarded to Mildred S. Dresselhaus, selected as a "scientist whose work, over more than five decades, has improved understanding of how and why the thermal, electrical and other characteristics of materials structured at the nanoscale can be dramatically different from those of the same materials at larger dimensions.

 A clip from my work on hexagons in nature: a visualization of a nanotube

Cornelia Bargmann, Winfried Denk and Ann M Graybiel were awarded the 2012 prizes for neuroscience “for elucidating basic neuronal mechanisms underlying perception and decision. Understanding how the brain receives information from the environment and processes it to make decisions is a major challenge in neuroscience. The prize winners have addressed this question in different organisms, from worms to primates. They have used a wide range of approaches and have invented new technologies."

 Movement and Behavior as rhythmical firing of neurons (Credit:Christine Daniloff-MIT-News Office)

Cells and synapses reconstructed from serial block face electron microscopy data 
© Kevin Briggman/Max Planck Institute for Medical Research

The opening remarks were given by John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The event concluded with a panel conversation between ABC News’ chief health and medical editor Richard Besser and Angela Belcher, Thomas Jessell, Claire Max.

I would like to conclude with an image I created for a 3d model of the "Flower of Life", so much similar to the Kavli logo. A quite interesting parallel, to be continued...