The Kavli Prize - science prizes for the future

The Kavli Prize is a partnership between The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, The Kavli Foundation (US) and The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.

The Kavli Prize recognizes scientists for their seminal advances in three research areas: astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. The Kavli Prize consists of USD 1,000,000 in each of the scientific fields. In addition to the prize money the laureates receive a scroll and a gold medal.

The Kavli Prize is awarded every second year by The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway.

The Kavli Prize was established to:

  • Recognise outstanding scientific research
  • Honour highly creative scientists
  • Promote public understanding of scientists and their work
  • Foster international cooperation among scientists

The agreement to establish the Kavli Prize was signed in 2005 by the founder of The Kavli Foundation, Fred Kavli, Kristin Clemet, Norwegian Minister of Education and Research and Jan Fridthjof Bernt, President of The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. The Kavli Prize was awarded for the first time in 2008.

Kavli Prize Laureates 2012

King Harald, Kristin Halvorsen, Minister of Education and Research, and Fabian Stang, Major of Oslo, met the 2012 Kavli Prize laureates at Oslo City Hall together with Fred Kavli and Nils Chr. Stenseth, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. From left:  Fabian Stang, Cornelia Isabella Bargmann, Winfried Denk, Michael Edwards Brown, Kristin Halvorsen, Fred Kavli, King Harald, Mildred Dresselhaus, Nils Christian Stenseth, Ann Martin Graybiel, Jane Luu and David Jewitt.(Photo: Scanpix)

The scientific fields

The Kavli Prize emphasise the science of the greatest physical dimensions of space and time, the science of the smallest dimensions of systems of atoms and molecules, and the science of the most complex systems, especially living organisms.

The Kavli Prize in Astrophysics is awarded for outstanding achievement in advancing our knowledge and understanding of the origin, evolution and properties of the universe, including the felds of cosmology, astrophysics, astronomy, planetary science, solar physics, space science, astrobiology, astronomical and astrophysical instrumentation, and particle astrophysics.

The Kavli Prize in Nanoscience is awarded for outstanding achievement in the science and application of the unique physical, chemical and biological properties of atomic, molecular, macromo-lecular and cellular structures and systems that are manifest in the nanometre scale, including molecular selfassembly, nanomaterials, nanoscale instrumenta-tion, nanobiotechnology, macromolecular synthesis, molecular mechanics and related topics.

The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience is awarded for outstanding achievement in advancing our knowledge and understanding of the brain and nervous system, including molecular neuroscience, cellular neuroscience, systems neuroscience, neu-rogenetics, developmental neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, computational neuroscience and related facets of the brain and nervous system.  

Selection of the Kavli Laureates

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters appoints the three prize committees after receiving recommendations from the following international academies and equivalent scientific organizations:

  • The Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • The French Academy of Sciences
  • The Max Planck Society (Germany)
  • The National Academy of Sciences (US)
  • The Royal Society (UK)

The prize committees review the nominated candidates and submit their recommendations to the board of The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. The President of the Academy announces the prize winners.

The prize winners were announced 31 May, 2012 at The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. The announcement was transmitted live to New York where it was part of the opening of the World Science Festival.

King Harald presented the prizes to the laureates at an award ceremony in Oslo, Norway, 4 September 2012.

The Kavli Prize Contact information

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters:
+47 22 12 10 90

Project coordinator:
Eirik Lislerud
Phone: + 47 22 12 36 40

Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi
Drammensveien 78
N-0271 Oslo
Telefon: +47 22 12 10 90
Telefaks: +47 22 12 10 99
E-post: dnva@online.no
Nettredaktør: Anne-Marie Astad
Design og teknisk løsning: Ravn Webveveriet AS
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
Drammensveien 78
N-0271 Oslo, Norway
Telephone: + 47 22 12 10 90
Fax: + 47 22 12 10 99
E-mail: dnva@online.no
Web editor: Anne-Marie Astad
Design and technical solutions: Ravn Webveveriet AS