First awarded in 2008, the Kavli Prizes recognize scientists for pioneering advances in our understanding of existence at its biggest, smallest, and most complex scales. The biannual prizes are awarded in partnership with the California-based Kavli Foundation and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research and include gold medals and $1 million in cash awards in each field.
The 2018 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics was awarded to Ewine van Dishoek of Leiden University in the Netherlands for her contributions to observational, theoretical, and laboratory astrochemistry, including describing and elucidating the life cycle of interstellar clouds and the formation of stars and planets. The 2018 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience was awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Jennifer A. Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, and Virginijus Šikšnys of Vilnius University in Lithuania for their invention of CRISPR-Cas9, a precise nanotool for editing DNA that has revolutionized biology, agriculture, and medicine. And the 2018 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience was awarded to A. James Hudspeth of Rockefeller University in New York City, Robert Fettiplace of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Christine Petit of the Collège de France/Pasteur Institute in Paris for their pioneering work on the molecular and neural mechanisms of hearing.
"These laureates represent truly pioneering science, the kind of science which will benefit humanity in a profound way," said Ole M. Sejersted, president of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. "They will inspire both current and future generations to continue searching for answers to some of the most difficult questions of our time. Through their hard work, dedication and innovation, they have strengthened our understanding of existence."