Web edition: May 13, 2008
Kavli is the name of a low-fat, whole-grain, Norwegian cracker – a rather tasteless (to my palate) vehicle for cheese or zesty vegetable spreads. But no scientist is likely to turn up his or her nose at accepting a Kavli award. It’ll be anything but cheesy.
Two weeks from now, an astrophysicist, neuroscientist, and nanoscience researcher will each be named to receive $1 million, a scroll, and a gold medal. These inaugural Kavli Prize winners will be announced at opening ceremonies of the World Science Festival, in
The biennial awards are being named for Fred Kavli, a Norwegian-born — but now California-based — physicist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Nearly a half-century ago, the guy founded Kavlico, a California-based company that makes specialty sensors for aeronautics, automotive and industrial applications.
Kavli sold his company eight years ago to focus on running his Kavli Foundation, based in
The new astrophysics award will reward achievements exploring the greatest dimensions of space and time, the nanoscience award focuses on work on the tiniest frontiers, and the neuroscience award will salute accomplishments that aid in understanding the human mind.
In addition to creating the new prizes, Kavli’s foundation has endowed six professorships (five at
By the way, I learned this morning that the foundation also supports journalism fellowships. A few minutes ago I found out Science News' will benefit from one. Tina Hesman Saey just shot me an email, which had been sent to her shortly after lunchtime, informing our molecular-biology writer that she has been awarded a Kavli Fellowship to attend a four-day workshop at MIT. This program is being described as a frontiers-of-brain-science boot camp for science journalists. Congratulations, Tina!
The Kavli Foundation (http://kavlifoundation.org/about/)