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May 23, 2005

New Award (attempts to) challenge the Nobel Prize

$1 million science awards created
Kavli Prizes for astrophysics, neuroscience, nanotech

OSLO, Norway - Nobel science prizes will face a "more daring" rival beginning in 2008, with $1 million awards for research into everything from the Big Bang to the brain, a Norwegian-born philanthropist says.

Fred Kavli, a physicist who left Norway in 1955 with $300 and turned it into a $340 million fortune in California, said he was setting up three prizes for astrophysics, neuroscience and nanotechnology, the use of molecule-sized devices.

Kavli already funds 10 science institutes — nine at U.S. universities including Stanford, Yale and Cornell, and one at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Three scientists linked to the institutes won Nobel prizes last year.

"We want to spread the word of science and get more students interested. ... In many parts of the world that's a problem, from Norway to the United States," Kavli told Reuters on Monday.

"I think we'll be more daring," than the Nobel awards, he said, because they would seek to reward scientific breakthroughs more quickly than the conservative Nobel system.

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May 23, 2005 in Info, Tech/Science | Permalink


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Good for Mr. Kavli! From what we know about him, he is a benefactor of the human enterprise as it should be and deserves our thanks. I hope his award always does as he intends and becomes influential in rewarding and encouraging good science.

Posted by: judith | May 23, 2005 8:47:19 AM

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