Marcus Raichle (WUSTL Radiology) wins 2014 Kavli Prize

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From the New York Times…

The Neuroscience Community congratulates Marcus Raichle, winner of a 2014 Kavli Prize.

Beaming in from Oslo via the web, officials of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters invaded the World Science Festival in New York on Thursday to announce that nine scientists had won this year’s Kavli prizes. The winners will split million-dollar prizes awarded in three categories: astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience.

The prize is named for Fred Kavli, the Norwegian-born inventor, businessman and philanthropist, who died last year. He spent the last decade of his life handing out money to establish Kavli research institutes at universities around the world and the prizes, which are awarded every two years and which he hoped would someday rival the Nobels.

The astrophysics award this year goes to the founders of the theory known as inflation, which posits that the Big Bang began with an extraordinary ballooning of space-time faster than the speed of light. They are Alan H. Guth of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Andrei D. Linde of Stanford and Alexei A. Starobinsky of the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics in Moscow, Russia.

The winners from the world of the very small – nanoscience — are Thomas W. Ebbesen of the Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France; Stefan W. Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany; and John B. Pendry of Imperial College London. They are being rewarded for their efforts in nano-optics, developing techniques to use ordinary light to see objects that are smaller than the wavelength of visible light, a goal once thought impossible.

Three neuroscientists shared the prize for inner space – the cosmos between our ears. The winners, Brenda Milner of the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University in Quebec; John O’Keefe of University College London; and Marcus E. Raichle of Washington University in St. Louis, have advanced the understanding of memory and cognition by discovering and exploring specialized networks and regions in the brain.

Two of the winners, Dr. Guth and Dr. Linde, are attending the World Science Festival and were in the room. Most of winners were informed by phone early Thursday, but not them. Dr. Guth said he had gotten a phone call but his cellphone was not working. Dr Linde said he had left his cellphone at home. “Actually” he told a chuckling crowd at New York University, “I don’t have a cellphone.”

“If this is breakfast,” he said, “what is going to be lunch?”

The award ceremony Thursday morning was the kickoff for a two-day celebration and scientific symposium in honor of Mr. Kavli, who grew up dodging German soldiers around the fjords of Norway and wondering under the Northern lights about the mysteries of nature.

Posted on May 29, 2014
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