[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 10-Sep-2012
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Contact: Susannah Gold
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Gold Communications

2012 International Balzan Prizes announced today

Epigenetics, solid Earth, law and musicology awarded

The Balzan Prizewinners 2012 were announced today in Milan by the Chairman of the Balzan General Prize Committee, Salvatore Veca, together with the President of the Balzan "Prize" Foundation, Ambassador Bruno Bottai, at the Corriere della Sera Foundation.

The profiles of the winners and the citations (the Prizes will be presented during the award ceremony to be held in Rome on November 14) were presented by four prestigious members of the General Prize Committee:

Antonio Padoa Schioppa (Professor Emeritus of Legal History at the University of Milan) read the citation for the assignment of the Prize for Jurisprudence to Ronald Dworkin: "For his fundamental contributions to Jurisprudence, characterized by outstanding gifts of sharpness, originality, and clarity of thought in a constant and fruitful interaction with ethical and political theories and with legal practices".

Gottfried Scholz (Professor Emeritus of Music Analysis, University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna) read the citation for the assignment of the Prize for Musicology to Reinhard Strohm: "For his extensive research on the history of European music within the cultural and socio-historical context from the late Middle Ages to the present, and for his detailed descriptions of high-rank vocal music, especially early sacred music in Flanders, and of the works of Vivaldi, Händel and Richard Wagner".

Enric Banda (Research Professor of Geophysics at the Institute of Earth Sciences in Barcelona; President of Euroscience, Strasbourg) read the citation for the assignment of the Prize for Solid Earth Sciences, with emphasis on interdisciplinary research to Kurt Lambeck: "For his exceptional contribution to the understanding of the relationship between post-glacial rebound and sea level changes. His findings have radically modified climate science".

Marc Van Montagu (Professor Emeritus of Molecular Genetics at Ghent University; Chairman of the Institute of Plant Biotechnology for Developing Countries) read the citation for the assignment of the Prize for Epigenetics to David Baulcombe: "For his fundamental contribution to the understanding of epigenetics and its role in cell and tissue development under normal and stressful conditions".

The President of the General Prize Committee, Professor Salvatore Veca, announced that the 2013 Balzan Prizes will be awarded in the following fields:

The amount of each of the four 2012 Balzan Prizes will be 750,000 Swiss Francs (approx. €620,000; $790,000; £500,000).

The award fields vary each year and can be related to either a specific or an interdisciplinary field, and look to go beyond the traditional subjects both in the humanities (literature, the moral sciences and the arts) and in the sciences (medicine and the physical, mathematical and natural sciences), so as to give priority to innovative research.

Half of the amount received by the winner of each of the four prizes must be destined to research work, preferably involving young scholars and researchers.

The public announcement, under the auspices of the City of Milan, was followed by a lecture by Colin Renfrew, 2004 Balzan Prizewinner for Prehistorical Archaeology, entitled "Towards an Archaeology of Mind".

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The International Balzan Foundation, founded in 1957, operates through two separate institutions. The International Balzan Foundation - "Prize" (chaired in Milan by Ambassador Bruno Bottai) selects the subjects to be awarded and the candidates through its General Prize Committee. The Balzan Foundation "Fund" (chaired in Zurich by Achille Casanova) administers the estate left by Eugenio Balzan, so as to place at the disposal of the International Balzan Foundation "Prize" the necessary financial means to realize its objective.



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