Brussels, 07 Sep 2005
Scholars from the UK and Germany were named among the four winners of the Balzan Prize for 2005, which recognises outstanding contributions to knowledge in the field of natural sciences, humanities, social sciences and the arts.
Each prize has a value of 1 million Swiss francs (650,000 euro). Among this year's winners are Professor Lothar Ledderose from the Institute of Art History at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, who is recognised for his work on the history of Chinese and Japanese art.
Also recognised is Professor Peter Hall from the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London, UK. Professor Hall's studies of the social and cultural history of cities since the beginning of the 16th century were recognised by the Balzan Prize committee as having made a 'unique contribution to the history of ideas about urban planning'.
In the field of population biology, a prize was awarded to the husband and wife team of Dr Rosemary and Professor Peter Grant from the UK, who are based at Princeton University. According to the Prize committee, their motivation in awarding the prize was to recognise the remarkable long-term studies carried out by the couple to demonstrate evolution in action in Galapagos finches.
'The work of the Grants has had a seminal influence in the fields of population biology, evolution and ecology. It is generally regarded as the most significant study of evolutionary change in the field that has been carried out in the last 30 years,' stated the committee.
The International Balzan Foundation was established in 1956 by Angela Lina Balzan in memory of her father Eugenio Balzan. Since 1961, 104 scientists, scholars, artists and institutions have been awarded the Balzan Prize. Winners are required to devote half of their prize money to projects involving young researchers.
For further information, please consult the following web address: