Crafoord Prize

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The Crafoord Prize
Awarded for in astronomy and mathematics, biosciences, geosciences or polyarthritis research, awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Country Sweden
Presented by Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
First awarded 1982 (1982)
Official website

The Crafoord Prize is an annual science prize established in 1980 by Holger Crafoord, a Swedish industrialist, and his wife Anna-Greta Crafoord. Administered by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the prize is awarded in four categories: astronomy and mathematics; geosciences; biosciences, with particular emphasis on ecology; and polyarthritis, the disease from which Holger severely suffered in his last years. According to the Academy, "these disciplines are chosen so as to complement those for which the Nobel Prizes are awarded".[1] Only one award is given each year, according to a rotating scheme – astronomy and mathematics; then geosciences; then biosciences.[1] A Crafoord Prize is only awarded when a special committee decides that substantial progress in the field has been made.[1] The recipient of the Crafoord Prize is announced each year in mid-January; on Crafoord Day in April, the prize is presented by the King of Sweden, who also presents the Nobel Prizes at the ceremony in December.[1][2] The prize money, which as of 2015 is 4,000,000 kr (or US$500,000), is intended to fund further research by the winner.

The inaugural winners, Vladimir Arnold and Louis Nirenberg, were cited by the Academy for their work in the field of non-linear differential equations. The first woman to be awarded the prize was astronomer Andrea Ghez in 2012.


Year Category Image Laureate Nationality Work[3]
1982 Mathematics Vladimir Arnold-1.jpg Vladimir Arnold Soviet Union Theory of non-linear differential equations
 Louis Nirenberg Louis Nirenberg CanadaUnited States[A]
1983 Geosciences Edward Lorenz United States Geophysical hydrodynamics
 Henry Stommel Henry Stommel United States
1984 Biosciences  Daniel Janzen Daniel H. Janzen United States Co-evolution
1985 Astronomy  Lyman Spitzer Lyman Spitzer United States Studies of the interstellar medium
1986 Geosciences  Claude Allègre Claude Allègre France Isotope geochemical relations
Gerald J. Wasserburg United States
1987 Biosciences Eugene P. Odum United States Ecosystem ecology
Odum, Howard T.jpg Howard T. Odum United States
1988 Mathematics  Pierre Deligne, seated, facing left and away from the camera Pierre Deligne Belgium Algebraic geometry
Alexander Grothendieck.jpg Alexander Grothendieck[B] None
1989 Geosciences  James Van Allen James Van Allen United States Exploration of space, the discovery the Van Allen belts
1990 Biosciences  Paul R. Ehrlich Paul R. Ehrlich United States Dynamics and genetics of fragmented populations
 Edward Osborne Wilson Edward Osborne Wilson United States Theory of island biogeography
1991 Astronomy Allan Rex Sandage United States Study of galaxies
1992 Geosciences Adolf Seilacher Germany Research into evolution of life
1993 Biosciences W. D. Hamilton United Kingdom Theories of kin selection and genetic relationship
 Seymour Benzer in his office at Caltech in 1974 with a big model of Drosophila Seymour Benzer United States Genetical and neurophysiological studies of fruit flies
1994 Mathematics  Simon Donaldson Simon Donaldson United Kingdom Four-dimensional geometry
 Shing-Tung Yau Shing-Tung Yau United States[C] Non-linear techniques in differential geometry
1995 Geosciences Willi Dansgaard Denmark Development of isotope geological analysis methods
 Nicholas Shackleton Nicholas Shackleton United Kingdom
1996 Biosciences  Robert May Robert M. May Australia Ecological research
1997 Astronomy Fred Hoyle United Kingdom Study of nuclear processes in stars, stellar evolution
Edwin Salpeter United States
1998 Geosciences  Don L. Anderson Don L. Anderson United States Study of the structures and processes in the interior of the Earth
Adam M. Dziewonski United States[D]
1999 Biosciences  Ernst Mayr in 1994, after receiving an honorary degree at the University of Konstanz Ernst Mayr United States Developing the concept of evolutionary biology
John Maynard Smith.jpg John Maynard Smith United Kingdom
George C. Williams United States
2000 Polyarthritis Marc Feldmann United Kingdom Definition of TNF-alpha
 Ravinder N. Maini Ravinder N. Maini United Kingdom
2001 Mathematics  Alain Connes Alain Connes France Theory of operator algebras, founder of the non-commutative geometry
2002 Geosciences Dan P. McKenzie United Kingdom Dynamics of the lithosphere
2003 Biosciences  Carl Woese Carl Woese United States Third domain of life
2004 Polyarthritis Eugene C. Butcher United States Study of molecular mechanisms concerning white blood cells
Dr. Timothy A. Springer.jpg Timothy A. Springer United States
2005 Astronomy  James E. Gunn James E. Gunn United States Understanding the large-scale structure of the Universe
 James Peebles James Peebles United States
 Martin Rees delivering a lecture at Jodrell Bank Martin Rees United Kingdom
2006 Geosciences  Wallace Smith Broecker Wallace Smith Broecker United States Research into the global carbon cycle
2007 Biosciences Robert Trivers United States Analysis of social evolution
2008 Astronomy Rashid Sunyaev Rashid Alievich Sunyaev Russia Contributions to high-energy astrophysics and cosmology
Mathematics  Maxim Kontsevich Maxim Kontsevich Russia[E] Contributions to mathematics from modern theoretical physics
 Edward Witten writing on a blackboard Edward Witten United States
2009 Polyarthritis  Charles Dinarello Charles Dinarello United States Isolation of interleukins, understanding their role in the onset of inflammatory diseases
 Tadamitsu Kishimoto Tadamitsu Kishimoto Japan
 Toshio Hirano Toshio Hirano Japan
2010 Geosciences  Walter Munk Walter Munk United States "for his pioneering and fundamental contributions to our understanding of ocean circulation, tides and waves, and their role in the Earth’s dynamics".
2011 Biosciences  Ilkka Hanski Ilkka Hanski Finland "for his pioneering studies on how spatial variation affects the dynamics of animal and plant populations".
2012 Astronomy  Reinhard Genzel Reinhard Genzel Germany "for their observations of the stars orbiting the galactic centre, indicating the presence of a supermassive black hole".
 Andrea M. Ghez Andrea M. Ghez United States
Mathematics  Jean Bourgain Jean Bourgain Belgium "for their brilliant and groundbreaking work in harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, ergodic theory, number theory, combinatorics, functional analysis and theoretical computer science".
Terence Tao Terence Tao Australia
United States
2013 Polyarthritis  Peter K. Gregersen Peter K. Gregersen United States "for their discoveries concerning the role of different genetic factors and their interactions with environmental factors in the pathogenesis, diagnosis and clinical management of rheumatoid arthritis".
 Lars Klareskog Lars Klareskog Sweden
 Robert J. Winchester Robert J. Winchester United States
2014 Geosciences Peter Molnar United States "for his ground-breaking contribution to the understanding of global tectonics, in particular the deformation of continents and the structure and evolution of mountain ranges, as well as the impact of tectonic processes on ocean-atmosphere circulation and climate".
2015 Biosciences Richard Lewontin United States "for their pioneering analyses and fundamental contributions to the understanding of genetic polymorphism".
Tomoko Ohta Japan


a Nirenberg was born in Canada.[4]

b Grothendieck was born in Germany, but has spent most of his life in France. Legally, he was a stateless person. He declined his prize.[5]

c Shing-Tung Yau was born in China.[6]

d Dziewonski was born in Poland.[7]

e Kontsevich was born in Russia.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "About the prize". The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 3 July 2009. 
  2. ^ "King of Sweden awards Crafoord Prize to IC researchers". Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine. 4 October 2000. Retrieved 5 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "The Crafoord Prize 1982–2009" (PDF). The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 4 July 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Louis Nirenberg Receives National Medal of Science" (PDF). American Mathematical Society. October 1996. p. 1111. Retrieved 4 July 2009. 
  5. ^ Matthews, Robert (20 August 2006). "Mathematics, where nothing is ever as simple as it seems". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 July 2009. 
  6. ^ Overbye, Dennis (17 October 2006). "The Emperor of Math". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 July 2009. 
  7. ^ "Dziewonski Receives 2002 William Bowie Medal". American Geophysical Union. Retrieved 5 July 2009. 
  8. ^ "Kontsevich and Witten Receive 2008 Crafoord Prize in Mathematics" (PDF). American Mathematical Society. May 2008. p. 583. Retrieved 5 July 2009. 

External links[edit]