The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Development Cooperation category goes in this sixth edition to the NGO Pratham, which over twenty years has catered successfully to the learning needs of tens of millions of disadvantaged children. In doing so, it has designed and implemented new methods that accelerate reading acquisition, using a grassroots approach in which pupils are grouped by actual levels and needs instead of age, while providing specific training to the teachers and volunteers recruited to its programs.
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Economics, Finance and Management category goes in this sixth edition to Elhanan Helpman for his outstanding work in two key areas in modern economics: international trade and output growth. Helpman’s name is the common strand in two theories that transformed these fields: in the first case, through the integration of multinational corporations into standard trade models, and, in the second, by casting innovation as an engine of growth alongside the traditional factors of labor and capital.
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Contemporary Music category goes in this sixth edition to U.S. composer Steve Reich for “bringing forth a new conception of music, based on the use of realist elements from the realm of daily life and others drawn from the traditional music of Africa and Asia.” His work, adds the jury, “has carved out new paths, establishing a dialogue between popular and high culture and between western modernity and non-European traditions, and achieving a rich combination of complexity and transparency.”
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Ecology and Conservation Biology category goes in this sixth edition to entomologist Paul Ehrlich, Professor of Biology at Stanford University (United States), for having “contributed key conceptual advances in the science of ecology and conservation biology, with a long-standing influence in other academic disciplines,” in the words of the jury’s citation.
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Biomedicine category goes in this sixth edition to British biochemist Adrian Bird “for his discoveries in the field of epigenetics.” Bird’s signal achievement was to map the regions of DNA where genes are activated by the addition of a type of molecule known as a methyl group, in a process known as methylation. This contribution is of a fundamental nature, since DNA methylation, as the jury explains, “plays a crucial role in many diseases and in the progression of nearly all types of cancer.”