KYOTO, Japan, June 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
- Japanese Chemist, Swiss Astrophysicist and American-born Choreographer in Germany Share Award -
The Inamori Foundation announced on June 19 three laureates of the 2015 Kyoto Prize for their contributions in the fields of Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences and Arts and Philosophy. They are Dr. Toyoki Kunitake, a chemist and president of the Kitakyushu Foundation for the Advancement of Industry, Science and Technology, Dr. Michel Mayor, an astrophysicist and professor emeritus at the University of Geneva, and Mr. John Neumeier, an American-born choreographer and artistic director of the Hamburg Ballet.
The three laureates will each receive a diploma, the 20K gold Kyoto Prize medal and prize money of 50 million yen. The Prize Presentation Ceremony and a joint press conference will be held at the Kyoto International Conference Center on Nov. 10. The laureates will give commemorative lectures on Nov. 11.
Dr. Toyoki Kunitake, a pioneer in the field of Materials Science, is best known as the first scientist to discover synthetic bilayer membranes and as the creator of the new field of chemistry based on molecular self-assembly. After his epoch-making discovery in 1977, Dr. Kunitake helped to illuminate the formation of bilayer membranes as a universal phenomenon. He is credited with developing various methods for bilayer membrane immobilization, synthesizing two-dimensional polymer and two-dimensional ultrathin silica films using thin layer structures built by organic molecular assembly as molds, and developing a technique for manufacturing large, free-standing nanostructured thin films. His molecular self-assembly is widely recognized as one of the most useful concepts in advanced materials design. A native of Fukuoka Prefecture, Dr. Kunitake, 79, is a recipient of various awards and honors, including the Chemical Society of Japan Award, Japan Academy Prize and Person of Cultural Merit.
(Photo 1: Dr. Toyoki Kunitake http://prw.kyodonews.jp/prwfile/release/M103224/201506181236/_prw_OI1fl_HX71kxZU.JPG)
Dr. Michel Mayor has made outstanding contributions to a new vision of the universe by discovering the first extrasolar planet orbiting a Sun-like star. He achieved this feat by continuously refining and improving observation technology, including the development of a series of spectrographs. He deployed a technique known as the radial velocity method with the use of the spectrographs to measure the velocity of exoplanets. The exoplanet research stimulated by Dr. Mayor is raising expectations that an exoplanet similar to Earth will be discovered in the not-too-distant future. Dr. Mayor, 73, from Lausanne, Switzerland, has received many prizes including the Albert Einstein Medal, Shaw Prize in Astronomy and Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, European Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Sciences.
(Photo 2: Dr. Michel Mayor http://prw.kyodonews.jp/prwfile/release/M103224/201506181236/_prw_OI2fl_J83Kb1Qj.JPG)
Mr. John Neumeier is a globally known choreographer who has successfully applied traditional ballet techniques and vocabulary to maximize the potential for bodily expression and capture the details of human psychology. He has combined the essence of two genres, dramatic ballet and abstract ballet, raising the art to a new level. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mr. Neumeier studied English Literature and Theater Studies in college before moving to Europe, where he quickly established himself as a full-fledged choreographer. His masterpieces, such as Illusions - like "Swan Lake," are performed not only in Germany but around the world. Mr. Neumeier, 73, has been artistic director and chief choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet for more than four decades. He is a recipient of many awards including Nijinsky Award and German Dance Prize.
(Photo 3: Mr. John Neumeier, (c) Steven Haberland http://prw.kyodonews.jp/prwfile/release/M103224/201506181236/_prw_OI3fl_87tPwkDF.jpg)
The Inamori Foundation was founded in 1984 by Kazuo Inamori, founder and now chairman emeritus of Kyocera Corp., a widely diversified fine ceramic and semiconductor components and electronic devices company based in Kyoto. The foundation awards the Kyoto Prize annually to people who have made significant contributions in the categories of Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences and Arts and Philosophy.
SOURCE Inamori Foundation