News Release

2015 World Cultural Council Awards

2015 Albert Einstein World Award of Science and Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts

Grant and Award Announcement

Consejo Cultural Mundial

Prof. Dr. Ewine van Dishoeck is a professor of astronomy at Leiden University in the Netherlands, where she received her PhD in 1984 cum laude. She is also an external scientific member at the Max Planck Institute for Extra-terrestrial Physics.

Prof. van Dishoeck is a chemist-turned-astronomer who - over a 30-year career - has studied molecules as a means for better understanding the universe. In particular, she and her team have researched star and planet formation. Her background in chemistry and deep understanding of 'all things molecular' have enabled her to employ molecules as thermometers and barometers to measure the physical structure of star and planet formation. Prof. van Dishoeck has been a frontrunner in employing molecules as tools with which astronomers can study the universe. Her accomplishments include several key discoveries on how interstellar molecules form, change and find their way into forming planetary systems.

Professor van Dishoeck has applied the molecular tools that she and her students have developed to a variety of objects. Her early studies of diffuse and translucent clouds in the interstellar medium to high and low mass proto-stellar regions are widely-cited for their novelty. A recent, but highly illustrative, example of her creativity is her use of the Herschel Space Observatory to follow the water trail from interstellar clouds, to proto-stellar cores, and to planet-forming disks. The molecular tools developed under her guidance have been extensively validated and made available through dedicated websites and have become widely-used by the scientific community. In addition, Prof. van Dishoeck has been a strong advocate for astronomical flagship facilities needed to study the molecular universe: notably ALMA and MIRI/JWST. The relevance of these and other achievements is reflected in her citation numbers: nearly 500 published papers, cited more than 25,000 times, with an h-index of 84.

She holds many national and international science positions of trust, including scientific director of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA), chair of the working group on Astrochemistry of the International Astronomical Union, and has significant involvements in ALMA, JWST-MIRI and Herschel.

Professor van Dishoeck has received many honours and awards for her research, including the Maria Goeppert-Mayer award of the American Physical Society (1993), the Bourke Medal of the UK Royal Society of Chemistry (2001), Spinoza Award of the Dutch National Science Foundation (2000), Physical Prize of the Netherlands Physical Society (2005), and Petrie award of the Canadian Astronomical Society (2007).

She is a member of numerous prestigious bodies, including the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences; Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences; Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences; and Member, Leopoldina Academy of Sciences, Germany.

Prof. Dr. Milton Masciadri

Professor Dr. Milton Masciadri has established a celebrated international reputation as a performing artist, cultural ambassador, educator and author. He is renowned as a dedicated world leader, a brilliant performer, and a warm and passionate teacher of young musicians.

Milton Masciadri, a third-generation double bass player, was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. He began his studies with his father and at the age of 17 when he was co-principal bassist with the Porto Alegre Symphony Orchestra in Brazil. At 19, he was already a faculty member of the Federal University of Brazil. He completed his masters and doctorate degrees under the tutelage of Gary Karr, Julius Levine and Lawrence Wolfe. In 1984, he joined the Hugh Hodgson School of Music faculty at the University of Georgia. In 2009 Dr. Masciadri received the title of Distinguished University Professor of the University of Georgia becoming the first faculty member in fine arts to be so honoured in 62 years.

In 1998 Dr. Masciadri was appointed as a UNESCO Artist for Peace and, in that capacity, appeared across the globe in performances, master classes and workshops. The list of his international honours is lengthy and includes an appointment as "Accademico" to the Academia Filarmonica in Bologna, Italy - Europe's oldest musical educational institution; recognition as Cavagliero di San Marco in Venice; and receipt of the Medal of Honour for academic achievements and services to the people of Brazil.

Dr. Masciadri has led international festivals, and, as a soloist, has appeared throughout the world in over 300 recitals and concerts. He has performed chamber music and duets with such artists as George Bolet, Robert Mc Duffie, Aldo Parisot, Sidney Harth, Gary Karr and Francesco Petracchi, playing a 320-year-old Testore double bass. He is a frequent recitalist and soloist with major symphony orchestras in Europe, Asia, North America, Central America and South America.

At the University of Georgia, Dr. Masciadri embodies the heart of its mission of excellence, mentoring new generations of young musicians. His reputation as a double bass instructor has attracted students from across the United States and the world.

Dr. Masciadri has presented master classes at the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Paris Conservatoire, Guildhall School of Music in London, Moscow Conservatory, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires National Conservatory, and Milan Conservatorio, among many others. In summer, he teaches at several international music festivals.

Milton Masciadri's enthusiasm for enlarging the repertoire of the double bass has led him to publish and premiere works of many contemporary American and South American composers, including works commissioned by UNESCO and Funarte (Brazilian Foundation for the Arts), as well as his own transcriptions and arrangements.


The World Cultural Council

The World Cultural Council (WCC) is an international organization founded in 1981. Every year the WCC acknowledges individuals or institutions that have made outstanding achievements in science, education and the arts, by means of its awards.

Each award ceremony is held in a different country with a renowned university or academic institute acting as host with the aim of disseminating the outstanding achievements of the awardees and celebrating the inspiration that they bring, as role models for a new generation. This year the University of Dundee, Scotland, will be the host institution.

University of Dundee

The University of Dundee aims to transform lives, locally and globally, and to shape the future by solving important real-world problems. The University focuses its efforts on three key areas: improving health and well-being, innovating through design and using global resources in a sustainable way. The University has long been an international leader in biological sciences with an emphasis on excellence and demonstrable impact.

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