The European Commission Thursday congratulated four European scientists who have been awarded the Nobel prizes for medicine, physics and chemistry.
"We have to go back many years to find the last time that the majority of Nobel laureates in the science prizes were Europeans," said European Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik in a statement.
"My warmest congratulations go to these talented scientists. Their sense of achievement will first and foremost be a personal one, with the prizes recognizing their contribution to science. But I hope they will also feel a sense of pride in showing that European science is alive and well, and producing world-class results."
Sir Martin Evans, of Cardiff University in Britain, shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine with two scientists in the United States for their work on mouse genetics. Albert Fert of France and Peter Grunberg of Germany shared the Nobel Prize for Physics for their discovery of giant magneto resistance, the effect underlying data retrieval from hard disks. Gerhard Ertl of Germany has been honored with the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his study of chemical processes on solid surfaces.
European Commission Vice President Gunter Verheugen, who last year gave the award for Inventor of the Year to Professor Grunberg for the same discovery, which led to his Nobel Prize, welcomed the Nobel Prize for professors Grunberg and Fert as a "major achievement for research and innovation in Europe."
"The winning of the Nobel Prize shows Europe as a center of science and innovation," said Verheugen, "I congratulate the Nobel laureates most warmly, as they showcase the potential of European research not only to generate great inventions, but also to contribute to the competitiveness of our economy."