The 2008 Benjamin Franklin Medal Presented

The 2008 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science has been presented to Judea Pearl, of UCLA, for creating the first general algorithms for computing and reasoning with uncertain evidence. His work is concentrated on artificial intelligence and statistics, and on the application of these fields to a wide range of problems in science and engineering.
The 50,000 Euro Stifterverband Prize shared
A research project carried out jointly by the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart and scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, for their printed biochip technology, has been awarded the 50,000 Euro Stifterverband Science Prize, 2008. The work, which enables cost-effective mass-production of peptide arrays, was funded internally and by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the VW Foundation.
German Science Awards
The winners of the 20,000 Euros Joseph von Fraunhofer Prizes 2008, which are awarded to Fraunhofer researchers for their outstanding scientific achievements in application-related problems, included: Walter Glaubitt and Jörn Probst from the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC in Würzburg, for their silica gel fibre-based wound dressings; Ingo Krisch, Michael Görtz and Khiem Trieu from the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS in Duisburg, for their wireless vision implant, a fully implantable visual prosthetic device for patients who have lost their sight through retinal diseases; and Rainer Kübler from the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, for his innovative glass cutting technology.
Improving the quality of life
The winner of the Millenium technology prize, of 800,000 Euros, awarded to the individual noted for significantly improving the quality of life, today and in the future, is Robert Langer.
His work, starting in 1974, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology involved finding a way to gradually release drug molecules into a patient's body, as previously they had been too large to slip through.
The five other short-listed technologists were: Sir Alec Jeffreys, creator of DNA fingerprinting; David Payne, co-inventor of an optical amplifier which transformed telecommunications; his co-inventors, Emmanual Desurvire and Randy Giles; and Andrew Viterbi, whose eponymous algorithm aids modern communications. They each received 115,000 Euros.
Dirac Gold medal
The 2008 Dirac Gold Medal has been awarded to Bryan Webber, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge.
He has pioneered work in understanding and applying Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), for the past 20 years, which is one of the three fundamental forces of Nature.
Inaugural Kavli Prize for 2008
As a result of a new partnership between the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, The Kavli Foundation, and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, a new science award has been created. The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience recognizes a fundamental understanding of how brain and spinal cord circuits are assembled during development and function in the adult.
The members of the Kavli Neuroscience Prize Committee have decided to reward three scientists: Pasko Rakic performed studies of the developing cerebral cortex, including the discovery of how radial glia guide the neuronal migration that establishes cortical layers, and formulated the radial unit hypothesis; Thomas Jessell discovered molecular principles governing the specification and patterning of different neuron types and the development of their synaptic interconnection into sensorimotor circuits; and Sten Grillner elucidated principles of network organization in the vertebrate locomotor central pattern generator, along with its command systems and sensory and higher order control. They will each receive a share of the overall 1,000,000 Dollar prize fund.
New MRS post created
The Materials Research Society (MRS) has appointed Todd Osman as its new executive director, a post effective as of September 1st, 2008.
He has written over 25 articles on topics including: commercial and social impact of nanomaterials; materials for nuclear power; computational science and engineering, product development; and mechanical metallurgy. He will succeed John Ballance who is retiring after 25 years in the post.
Princeton appoint new President
Princeton has announced the appointment of Michael Drzewinski as its new president.
It is envisaged that he will lead the Institute's expansion into the areas of fundamental and contract research, as well as enhancing interactions with clients and universities.
He succeeds Gail Eaton who has recently retired following her twelve-year tenure.
Collaboration leads to new chair appointment
The collaboration between University of Manchester and Westinghouse Electric Company has lead to the appointment of Tim Abram, as the chair in nuclear fuel technology. He is a specialist in nuclear fuel and advanced reactor systems.
Innovation rewarded
The Chapman Medal for distinguished research in the field of biomedical innovation, particularly with respect to biomaterials innovation, has been awarded to Adam Curtis.
He is Professor of cell biology at the University of Glasgow, and is awarded for his research into cell culture and nanobioscience, and pioneering work into mechanotransduction and biomaterials.