Awarded in partnership with the California-based Kavli Foundation and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, the biannual prizes recognized the achievements of scientists from Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States — three in each field — with $1 million in cash awards.
The Kavli Prize in Astrophysics was awarded to Ronald W.P. Drever and Kip S. Thorne of the California Institute of Technology and Rainer Weiss of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for their work in the direct detection of gravitational waves. The Kavli Prize in Nanoscience was awarded to Gerd Binnig, formerly of the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory; Christoph Gerber of University of Basel; and Calvin Quate of Stanford University, for the invention and realization of atomic force microscopy, a breakthrough in measurement technology and nanosculpting. And the Kavli Prize in Neuroscience was awarded to Eve Marder of Brandeis University; Michael Merzenich of the University of California, San Francisco; and Carla Shatz of Stanford, for their discovery of mechanisms that allow experience and neural activity to remodel brain function.
Established in 2008, the Kavli Prizes are named after the late Fred Kavli, founder of the Kavli Foundation, which is dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of humanity, promoting public understanding of scientific research, and supporting scientists and their work.