The biggest scientific experiment on the International Space Station is an externally mounted seven-ton module that has been running now for almost five years. Its mission: to detect the mysterious phenomena known as cosmic rays. These high-energy particles, which can only be studied indirectly from the Earth’s surface, may hold the answer to two key open questions in modern physics: where is the Universe’s lost anti-matter and what does dark matter consist of? But first we have to understand the origin and properties of cosmic rays, and this is still a distant prospect, observes the head of the experiment, Nobel laureate Samuel Ting.
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Development Cooperation category has been granted in this eighth edition to Australian economist Martin Ravallion, a pioneer in the measurement of poverty using internationally applicable standards. In 1991, he was the first author of a paper that set one dollar a day as the extreme poverty line below which survival could not be assured. This threshold has been universally accepted, because “nothing below that is reasonable,” explained Ravallion himself after hearing of the prize. “If we are looking for a global standard we need to focus on the minimum levels of the poorest countries.”
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Economics, Finance and Management goes in this eighth edition to Robert Wilson for “pioneering contributions to the analysis of strategic interactions when economic agents have limited and different information about their environment”. In the view of the jury, “his research on auctions, electricity pricing, reputation and dynamic interactions under such informational circumstances was groundbreaking and pervades economic analysis to this day”.
Over 400 titles are currently available free of charge between books, reports, outreach publications, working papers and multimedia publications on subjects ranging from health, economics and basic science to the environment and social sciences. The BBVA Foundation offers users an online publications catalogue in Spanish and English through its website www.fbbva.es or www.publicacionesfbbva.es with all content available without cost. The catalogue comprises over 400 titles representing 95% of the content appearing under the Fundación BBVA publishing imprint since 2005, plus a number of earlier titles from the Working Papers series launched in 2002.
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Contemporary Music category goes in this eighth edition to Georges Aperghis for reinventing musical theater and taking it in entirely new directions. “He has opened up a unique path in the territory of musical theater employing new scenic devices whereby everything becomes music, starting from the performer’s gestures and including sounds made by scenic elements or objects used as percussion instruments,” in the words of the jury’s citation.