UNESCO AWARDS ITS SCIENCE PRIZES
Paris, October 17 (No.2001-107) – Director-General Koïchiro
Matsuura will present UNESCO’s six science prizes for 2001 on October 19 at
UNESCO Headquarters (6:30 p.m., Room XII), including the Great Man-Made River
International Water Prize, which is awarded this year for the first time.
The laureates are: Professor Stefano Fantoni of Italy (Kalinga Prize for
the Popularization of Science); Professor Baltasar Mena Iniesta of Mexico
(UNESCO Science Prize); Dr Mauricio Terrones Maldonado of Mexico (Javed Husain
Prize for Young Scientists); Dr Susana López Charretón and Dr Carlos Federico
Arias Ortíz of Mexico (Carlos J. Finlay Prize for Microbiology); the Chad
Association of Volunteers for the Protection of the Environment (Sultan Qaboos
Prize for the Environment); and the Australian Research Group on Aquifer Storage
and Recovery (Great Man-Made River International Water Prize).
At the same ceremony, Dr Sima Rafati Seyedi Yazdi of Iran will be awarded
the 2001 Institut Pasteur/UNESCO Medal.
The Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science (£1000
and the Albert Einstein Medal), is awarded annually in recognition of an
outstanding interpretation of science and technology for the general public.
Stefano Fantoni (56), this year's laureate, is Professor of Theory of Nuclear
Interaction at the International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste
and is associated with the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP).
He has written and co-authored more than 160 scientific papers and serves as an
advisor to research laboratories in Italy and the United States. Stefano Fantoni
notably created a school in Trieste where scientists and science journalists
collaborate in training young students in science communication.
The $15,000 UNESCO Science Prize
is given every two years to an individual or group in recognition of their
contribution to the technological development of a developing Member State or
region through the application of scientific and technological research.
Baltasar Mena Iniesta (59), this year's laureate, is professor of engineering at
the National University of Mexico (UNAM). His research led to the design of the
Solar Hexagonal Silo, a new concept in large capacity storage and distribution
of grains which saves Mexico and other developing countries millions of dollars
The biennial $8,500 Javed Husain
Prize for Young Scientists rewards pure or applied research conducted by
scientists aged 36 or younger in the natural or social sciences or in
technology. Mauricio Terrones Maldonado (32) is professor at the Instituto
Potosino de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (IPICYT) in San Luis
Potosí, known for his work on the creation of nanoscale carbon and layered
materials. He studied both in the United States and in the United Kingdom.
The Carlos J. Finlay Prize for
Microbiology is awarded every two years in recognition of an outstanding
contribution to microbiology. Susana López Charretón (44) and Carlos Federico
Arias Ortíz (46), this year's recipients, are both professors at the National
Mexico (UNAM). Their work
focuses on the molecular biology of rotaviruses, the single most important
etiologic agents of severe diarrheal disease in children under two years of age.
They will share the $5,000 award.
The $20,000 Sultan Qaboos Prize
for the Environmental Preservation is awarded every two years for
outstanding contributions to the management or preservation of the environment.
This year the award goes to the Chad Association of Volunteers for the
Protection of the Environment (ATVPE). The association uses traditional
technologies to combat desertification and minimize the effects of drought.
Since 1997, ATVPE has planted 20,000 trees across the country and has produced
70,000 seedlings for distribution to the local population.
The Great Man-Made River
International Water Prize will be awarded this year for the first time. This
new $20,000 prize, funded by the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, rewards remarkable
scientific research and scientific studies and discoveries in the field of
exploration of groundwater and surface water usage in arid zones subject to
drought and desertification and contributing to environmental and human
development. The first laureate is the Australian Research Group on Aquifer
Storage and Recovery (ASR) of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Department for Water Resources, South
Australia, for its internationally recognised contributions to groundwater
management in arid areas.
During the prize-giving ceremony, Dr Sima Rafati Seyedi Yazdi will
receive the Institut Pasteur-UNESCO Medal,
created by UNESCO and the Pasteur Institute in 1995 on the occasion of the 100th
anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur. Every two years the medal rewards an
outstanding contribution to the development of scientific knowledge that has a
beneficial impact on human health. Dr Rafati, who is Assistant professor at the
Department of Immunology at the Pasteur Institute of Iran, has been working on a
vaccine for the parasitic skin disease, leishmaniasis.
wishing to cover the event should contact UNESCO’s Press Service for
accreditation: (+33) (0)1 45 68 17 44