Five scientists win Shaw Prize in HK

12:25, October 08, 2009      

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Five scientists were awarded the Shaw Prize on Wednesday in Hong Kong at a prize-giving ceremony for their outstanding achievements in astronomy, life science and medicine, and mathematical sciences.

The astronomy prize went to Professor Frank H Shu, University Professor of the ten-campus University of California System of the United States, in recognition of his life-time contributions in theoretical astronomy.

Professor Chen-Ning Yang, Chairman of the Shaw Prize's board of adjudicators, said at the ceremony, as a renowned theoretical astronomer, Shu's work on how stars have formed in the billions of past years has revolutionized researchers' understanding of the history of the universe.

The Life Science and Medicine Award were awarded jointly to Professor Douglas L Coleman, Emeritus Scientist of the Jackson Laboratory, Maine of the United States and Professor Jeffrey M Friedman, Marilyn M Simpson Professor of the Rockefeller University and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of the United States. They were awarded for their work leading to the discovery of leptin, a hormone that regulates food intake and body weight. Their discovery clarifies the important subject of the origin of obesity.

The Mathematical Sciences Award went to Professor Simon K Donaldson, the Royal Society Research Professor of Pure Mathematics at Imperial College London, UK, and Professor CliffordH Taubes, William Petschek Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University of the United States for their many brilliant contributions to geometry in 3 and 4 dimensions.

They used new techniques to reach deeper understanding of the complexity of 3-dimensional space, 4-dimensional space, and 4- dimensional space-time. Especially important, and mystifying, is the connection between their work and physicists' understanding of the fundamental structure of all forces of nature.

Established in 2002 under the auspices of Run Run Shaw, Hong Kong's famous industrialist, the Shaw Prize consists of three annual prizes of Astronomy, Life Science and Medicine, and Mathematical Sciences. Each prize bears a monetary award of one million U.S. dollars.

The prize honors individuals who have achieved significant breakthrough in academic and scientific research or application and whose work has resulted in a positive and profound impact on the mankind.

Source: Xinhua
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