The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Biomedicine category goes in this second edition to Prof. Robert J. Lefkowitz (1943, New York, United States), investigator in the Department of Medicine at Duke University (United States). The award was granted, in the words of the jury, “for his discoveries of the seven transmembrane receptors (G protein-coupled receptors), the largest, most versatile and most therapeutically accessible receptor signaling system, and of the general mechanism of their regulation”.
The 2009 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Basic Sciences category goes to physicist and chemist Richard N. Zare, of Stanford University, and physicist Michael E. Fisher, of the University of Maryland, for their independent, fundamental contributions to describing the world at molecular level. “One has unraveled secrets of nature’s building blocks and the underlying interactions between them by enabling us to view what happens at the molecular scale. The other has developed theoretical approaches that help analyze what happens when a large assembly of such building blocks is brought together”, in the words of the jury’s citation.
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Information and Communication Technologies category goes in this second edition to engineer and mathematician Thomas Kailath (Pune, India, 1935), as author of a mathematical development enabling the production of increasingly small size chips. Kailath has invented methods to pattern integrated circuits with components finer even than the lightwaves used in their production, a bit like drawing a line that is finer than the point of the pencil. This happened at a time when the limits of chip miniaturization seemed both close and insurmountable.
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Climate Change category goes in this second edition to German physicist and mathematician Klaus Hasselmann (Hamburg, 1931) for “developing methods which established that recent global warming trends are primarily attributable to human activities”. Hasselmann “has crucially advanced the frontiers of scientific and public understanding of climate change”, concludes the jury in its citation.
This year's international scientific and cultural calendar will open with the announcement of the eight winners in the second edition of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards, to be decided over January and February. The breadth of disciplines addressed and their monetary amount (a total of 3.2 million euros) place them among the world’s foremost award schemes second only to the Nobel Prize.