$1 million Prizes Shared by 7 Scientists
Seven scientists won prizes for discoveries that involve the furthest reaches of the solar system, vanishingly tiny materials and the complexities of the brain. One finding helped end Pluto’s status as a planet. The researchers will share three $1 million Kavli prizes, awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in partnership with the California-based Kavli Foundation and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The winners will receive their awards in Oslo Sept. 4. The prizes, awarded biennially since 2008, are named after philanthropist Fred Kavli, a native of Norway.
The prize for astrophysics is shared by David Jewitt, Jane Luu, and Michael Brown for discovering and describing the Kuiper Belt, a disk of more than 70,000 small bodies that lies beyond the orbit of Neptune. The neuroscience prize is shared by Cornelia Bargmann, Winfried Denk, and Ann Graybiel. They were cited for shedding light on basic mechanisms by which the brain receives information from the environment and processes it to make decisions. The third prize, for nanoscience, went to Mildred Dresselhaus of MIT. The academy said her work has helped scientists understand how energy flows and dissipates in these tiny environments.