When It Comes To Awards, Just Say Yes

Few awards in science, outside the Nobel prizes, are as distinguished as the Crafoord Prize. Yet, until perhaps last month, many in the science community knew relatively little about it.

Established in 1981 by Anna-Greta and Holger Crafoord, chairman of the medical supply company Gambro AB, the Crafoord Prize is intended to reward outstanding achievement in areas of science not recognized by the Nobels. On a rotating basis, the award is given annually to researchers in mathematics and astronomy, in earth sciences, and in biological sciences. The prize: $270,000. This year it was mathematics that claimed the spotlight. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which is charged with selecting the honorees, chose Pierre Deligne of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, and Alexandre Grothendieck of the Université des Sciences et Techniques de Languedoc in Montpelier, France, for "fundamental research in...

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