The Fronteras Awards reward the obsession with originality in science and artwork | Science | EUROtoday

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The British pianist and composer George Benjamin, 64, prefers to not settle for commissions, even when he loses giant sums of cash. He doesn’t need supply deadlines or preconditions, however relatively to pay attention so long as mandatory on an unique rating, which renews the inventive prospects of latest music. This Thursday in Bilbao, Benjamin collected the BBVA Foundation's Frontiers of Knowledge Awards together with 16 researchers, endowed with 400,000 euros in every class. The night time earlier than, the award-winning scientists attended a live performance with music by Benjamin that gave the impression of a metaphor for fundamental analysis: the complete Madrid Symphony Orchestra beating within the excessive register, touring alongside paths by no means earlier than explored, very removed from the melodies. conventional.

Benjamin talks about this inventive course of within the ebook The guidelines of the sport: “I need a certain vital period to pass after the composition, a time of forgetfulness. The period of working on a work is so obsessive that, to get out of that world, I need time […]. If he tried to write in that period I know that he would only write a bad copy of the recently completed work. The word obsession is repeated in some biographies of the winners.

The biochemist Peter Walter, born 69 years ago in Berlin, was one of the winners in the Biology and Biomedicine category. Walter is the discoverer of the response to misfolded proteins, a mechanism by cells to eliminate proteins that become toxic. The biochemist, from the University of California in San Francisco (USA), and his colleague Carmela Sidrauski have detected a molecule involved in this process, called ISRIB, which has apparently miraculous effects in mice, improving the capabilities of their brain, such as memory and mental agility. The specialized website STAT defined it like this: “Walter is fascinated—some might say obsessed—with the tiny molecule that his laboratory has discovered.”

The German scientist has shared the prize with three different researchers who’ve revealed the mechanisms that management the functioning of proteins: Franz-Ulrich Hartl, director of the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, in Munich (Germany); Arthur Horwich, from Yale University (USA); and Kazutoshi Mori, from Kyoto University (Japan). The phenomena they’ve noticed are associated to a large number of illnesses, reminiscent of most cancers, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

The French glaciologist Jean Jouzel has been one of many 5 winners within the Climate Change class. This 77-year-old researcher collaborated from France within the legendary scientific expedition that, in the course of the Cold War, reached the Soviet Antarctic base Vostok, in an obsessive seek for the purest historical ice. The analyzes of Jouzel and his colleagues on the Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA) culminated in three research, printed in 1987, that definitively confirmed the connection between carbon dioxide within the environment and international warming.

Jouzel collected the award along with the Danish Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, from the University of Copenhagen; the French Valérie Masson-Delmotte, from the University of Paris-Saclay; and the Swiss Jakob Schwander and Thomas Stocker, from the University of Bern. They all research air bubbles trapped in ice, relics of the environment of the previous. “Understanding and extracting the wealth of climate information from the majestic three-kilometer-long ice cores, drilled from the surface to the bedrock of the great ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, has been an innovative and exciting journey. challenges,” Dahl-Jensen proclaimed in his speech on the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao.

Two Mexican researchers, Rodolfo Dirzo and Gerardo Ceballos, have gained within the Ecology and Conservation Biology class for his or her work on the extinction of species. Dirzo, from Stanford University (USA), coined the time period “defaunation”, analogous to deforestation, to discuss with the absence of animals in an ecosystem. The scientist celebrated in his speech that, this Thursday, the Iberian lynx is now not at risk of extinction. Dirzo, nonetheless, has warned that humanity has turn into “the driving force of what is emerging as a new mass extinction, the sixth in the last 542 million years of planetary biological evolution.”

The jury has additionally rewarded the originality of Elke Weber, a German psychologist from Princeton University (USA) who has studied the human response to local weather change with a novel psychological strategy. “Humans—the A wise man, we—do not necessarily make decisions in a strictly rational manner. The bias of the present, the fear of loss and other systematic deviations from economic rationality lead us to make many decisions that do not benefit us in the long term,” she warned.

Two mathematicians, the Frenchwoman Claire Voisin and the American of Soviet origin Yakov Eliashberg, have been awarded within the Basic Sciences class. Both researchers, she from the Jussieu-Paris Rive Gauche Institute of Mathematics and he from Stanford University, have related algebraic and symplectic geometries, two disciplines that discover areas unimaginable for the frequent citizen.

Finally, the Japanese Takeo Kanade, from Carnegie Mellon University (USA), has acquired the award within the Information and Communication Technologies class, for creating pc packages that precisely acknowledge facial options and expressions three a long time in the past. advances that are actually omnipresent in cell phones. In Economics, the winner was Partha Dasgupta, a researcher on the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) who has offered instruments to measure sustainable improvement.

The Frontiers of Knowledge Awards, created by the BBVA Foundation in 2008, have awarded 26 instances to individuals who have subsequently gained a Nobel Prize. The largest scientific group in Spain, the Higher Council for Scientific Research, participates within the analysis of the nominations. Its president, Eloísa del Pino, has proclaimed that the message of those awards is that “only from the diversity of scientific disciplines can we aspire to know the extraordinary universe in which we live.”

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