Nobel and other Prizes

Kavli Prize, 2024 Announced


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Kavli Prize

Why in the News? 

The winners of the 2024 Kavli Prize were announced, recognising achievements in astrophysics, neuroscience, and nanoscience.

About Kavli Prize

  • The Kavli Prize celebrates outstanding achievements in astrophysics, neuroscience, and nanoscience.
  • It is established in honour of Norwegian-American businessman and philanthropist Fred Kavli (1927-2013).
  • Awarded biennially, the prize recognizes researchers whose work pushes the boundaries of human knowledge and enhances our understanding of the universe, the brain, and nanoscale phenomena.

About Fred Kavli

  • Fred Kavli, born in Erejsford, Norway, immigrated to California in 1956 and quickly made a mark in the engineering field.
  • His entrepreneurial journey began in 1958 with the founding of Kavlico, a pioneering company known for its precision pressure sensors used across diverse industries, from aviation to consumer electronics.

The Kavli Foundation:

  • In 2000, after selling Kavlico for $340 million, Fred Kavli established the Kavli Foundation.
  • This philanthropic organisation supports fundamental research aimed at improving global quality of life.
  • The foundation operates 20 institutes worldwide dedicated to astrophysics, neuroscience, nanoscience, and theoretical physics.

Prize Structure and Prestige:

  1. Comparison with Nobel Prize: The Kavli Prize mirrors the Nobel Prize in its prestige and international recognition but differs by not limiting awards to achievements within the preceding year, allowing broader scope and longevity in selection criteria.
  2. Award Ceremony: Each Kavli Prize includes a $1 million cash award per field, a scroll, and a 7 cm diameter medal. The ceremony, held at the Oslo Concert Hall and attended by global scientific leaders, features a red-carpet event, emphasizing its significance in the scientific community.
  3. Selection Process:
  • Committees: Three international committees nominate and review candidates, providing a unanimous recommendation to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.
  • Nominees: Nominees come from prestigious institutions worldwide, ensuring a diverse and comprehensive evaluation process.

Winners of the 2024 Kavli Prize:

Field Winners Contributions
Astrophysics David Charbonneau (Harvard University), Sara Seager (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Pioneering methods for detecting atomic species in planetary atmospheres and measuring their thermal infrared emission, are crucial for identifying molecular fingerprints in atmospheres of exoplanets.
Nanoscience Robert Langer (MIT), Armand Paul Alivisatos (University of Chicago), Chad Mirkin (Northwestern University) Langer: Nano-engineering for controlled drug delivery systems.

Alivisatos: Development of semiconductor quantum dots for bio-imaging.

Mirkin: Concept of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) for applications in gene regulation and immunotherapy.

Neuroscience Nancy Kanwisher (MIT), Winrich Freiwald (Rockefeller University), Doris Tsao (University of California, Berkeley) Mapping brain functions related to facial recognition using neuroimaging and neuronal recording techniques, identifying brain centers and neural architectures involved in face processing.



[2021] The Nobel Prize in Physics of 2014 was jointly awarded to Akasaki, Amano and Nakamura for the invention of Blue LEDs in the 1990s. How has this invention impacted the everyday life of human beings?

[2018] Discuss the work of ‘Bose-Einstein Statistics’ done by Prof. Satyendra Nath Bose and show how it revolutionized the field of Physics.

[2008] Nobel Prize-winning scientist James D. Watson is known for his work in which area? (2008)

(a) Metallurgy

(b) Meteorology

(c) Environmental protection

(d) Genetics

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