Kavli Neuroscience Gold MedalWhat’s Hot

Northwest Territorial Mint Strikes Medals for The Kavli Foundation

On September 9, 2008, the first Kavli Prizes were awarded in Oslo, Norway to the world’s greatest thinkers in the most cutting-edge scientific fields. Minted by Northwest Territorial Mint, each medallion is fashioned from 10 ounces of pure gold. The obverse of each bears the image of prize sponsor Fred Kavli, the Norwegian-born American businessman and philanthropist who has established multiple scientific institutes at the most prestigious universities on the face of planet; the reverse bears the symbol of The Kavli Foundation.

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway led the presentation. In addition to the medal, the prize award in each of the scientific areas carries a cash award of $1 million, donated by The Kavli Foundation.

Northwest Territorial Mint was selected to create these historic medals after an exhaustive search by The Kavli Foundation. Northwest Territorial Mint’s expertise with both design and with gold proved reassuring to the Foundation, which wanted to give these most profound thinkers a substantial and lasting symbol reflecting the pre-eminence of their work.

The Kavli Foundation was established in 2000 because Mr. Fred Kavli wanted to make a contribution to positive human development via scientific research, and in order to create greater public understanding of the importance of research.

The Kavli Prize — a joint venture of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, and The Kavli Foundation (based in California) — is designed to:

• Recognize outstanding scientific research
• Honor highly creative scientists
• Promote public understanding of scientists and their work
• Foster international cooperation among scientists.

  Diameter: 70mm
  Thickness: 5mm
  Material: .999 fine gold
  Weight: 10 Troy Oz

The prizes focus on the science of the greatest physical dimensions of space and time, the science of the smallest dimensions of systems of atoms and molecules, and the science of the most complex systems, especially living organisms.

Mr. Kavli was himself present during the ceremony in Oslo Concert Hall. “We are here today to honor and celebrate our scientists – our prizewinners – for their work and their contribution to humanity’s splendid journey,” he said in his speech. “Let these prizes be a token of thanks and gratitude for moving us along the path of greater understanding of the human being, nature, and the universe.”

The 2008 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics was awarded jointly to Maarten Schmidt, of the California Institute of Technology, US, and Donald Lynden-Bell, of Cambridge University, UK, both of whose work underpins our understanding of quasars.

The 2008 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience was awarded jointly to Louis E. Brus, of Columbia University, US, and Sumio Iijima, of Meijo University in Japan, for their respective discoveries of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals, also known as quantum dots, and carbon nanotubes.

The 2008 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience was awarded jointly to Pasko Rakic, of the Yale University, US, Thomas Jessell, of Columbia University, US, and Sten Grillner, of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, who collectively have deciphered the basic mechanisms that govern the development and functioning of the networks of cells in the brain and spinal cord.

Find out more about the Kavli Award here.

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