Science, literature experts win 2009 Balzan Prize

8th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

Swiss-German chemist Michael Graetzel received one of the awards Monday for his research on solar cells.

Milan -- The prestigious Balzan Prize was awarded Monday to a British expert on Renaissance literature, a Canadian neuroscience pioneer, an Italian science historian and a Swiss-German solar cell researcher.

This year's prizes, named after anti-fascist Italian reporter Eugenio Balzan who went into exile in Switzerland in the 1930s, recognised achievements in literature since 1500, cognitive neurosciences, history of science and science of new materials.

St John's College professor Terence Cave was rewarded "for his outstanding contributions to a new understanding of Renaissance literature", Balzan Prize committee chairman Salvatore Veca told reporters in Milan.

Brenda Milner, a British-born neuroscientist at the Universite de Montreal, was recognised "for her pioneering studies of the role of the hippocampus in the formation of memory".

Florence University history of science professor Paolo Rossi-Monti was given the prize "for his major contributions to the study of the intellectual foundations of science from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment".

Michael Graetzel of Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne was rewarded "for his invention and development of a new type of photovoltaic solar cell, the Dye Sensitised Cell, commonly known as the Graetzel Cell."

Each winner will be awarded CHF 1 million (USD 940,000, EUR 660,000), half of which must be dedicated to research.

AFP / Expatica

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