2016 Kavli Prize Laureates Announcement

On June 2nd, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced the 2016 Kavli Prize Laureates in Astrophysics, Nanoscience, and Neuroscience. The event was webcast from Oslo, Norway and the World Science Festival in New York City.

Webcast from the Norwegian Academy of Science & Letters, Oslo and the World Science Festival, New York

(To watch the announcements only, click here)

This is the complete announcement program, including the announcements from Oslo and program from the World Science Festival. To watch the events only from Oslo, click here

Opening Keynote Speaker:  France Córdova, Director, National Science Foundation

Live from the World Science Festival, New York

France CórdovaFrance Córdova is an astrophysicist and the 14th director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the only U.S. government agency charged with advancing all fields of scientific discovery, technological innovation, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. NSF is a $7.5-billion independent federal agency, with a mission that is vital to supporting our nation’s economy, security, and ability to remain a global leader. Córdova is president emerita of Purdue University, chancellor emerita of the University of California, Riverside, former vice chancellor for research at the University of California, Santa Barbara, department head at Penn State and deputy group leader at Los Alamos National Lab. Córdova has served as NASA’s chief scientist and is a recipient of NASA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal. Her scientific contributions are in the areas of observational and experimental astrophysics, multi-spectral research on x-ray and gamma ray sources and space-borne instrumentation.

Discussion with France Córdova and ABC News' Richard Besser

Richard Besser, ABC NewsRichard Besser is ABC News' chief health and medical editor. In this role, he provides medical analysis and commentary for all ABC News broadcasts and platforms, including World News with Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America, and Nightline. Besser came to ABC News from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he served as director of the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response. He also served as acting director for the CDC. Besser began his career at the CDC in 1991 in the Epidemic Intelligence Service. Following this, he served for five years on the faculty of the University of California, San Diego, as the pediatric residency director. While in San Diego he worked for the county health department on the control of pediatric tuberculosis. He returned to the CDC in 1998, where he served in various capacities, including epidemiology section chief in the Respiratory Diseases Branch. He received a Surgeon General's Medallion award for his leadership during the H1N1 response. Richard Besser holds a B.A. in economics from Williams College and received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a residency and chief residency in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.


Live from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Oslo, the President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announces the 2016 Kavli Prize laureates, with presentations by the Kavli Prize Committee Chairs. Moderator, science writer Adam Rutherford.

Ole M. SejerstedOle M. Sejersted (Presenter) is President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and Professor and Head of the Institute for Experimental Research at the University of Oslo. Founded in 1857, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters is a non-governmental, nationwide body which embraces all fields of learning. The Academy acts as a national contact body both within the individual scientific disciplines and between these, and represents Norwegian science vis-à-vis foreign academies and other international scientific organizations.


Adam RutherfordAdam Rutherford (Moderator) is a science writer and broadcaster with a degree in evolutionary biology and a PhD in genetics. He is currently an editor at the science journal Nature where he makes podcasts and and short films about new research, and writes for The Guardian (United Kingdom). As a science writer, he covers all fields while specializing in evolution and human biology. Adam has made "Men In White" for Channel 4 (UK), "The Cell" and "The Gene Code" for BBC 4. The former was broadcast in over 40 countries and placed in the Daily Telegraph’s list of 10 Classic science programs. He has conducted several interviews for The Culture Show, BBC 2.

Mats CarlssonMats Carlsson, Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, UiO, Norway (Astrophysics Chair)

Professor Mats Carlsson’s academic interests include solar physics, stellar atmosphere modeling, radiation magneto hydrodynamics and space projects. He has the following appointments member of European Space Agency Space Science Advisory Committee (SSAC), President for European Association for Solar Telescopes (EAST), board member at UNINETT Sigma, board member at Norwegian Space Centre (NSC), member of Science Working Group, Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) and member of Board of Reviewing Editors (BRE) in Science magazine.

Arne BrataasArne BrataasDepartment of Physics, NTNU, Norway (Nanoscience Chair)

Professor Arne Brataas received his Ph.D. in physics from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 1998. He was a postdoctoral fellow at TU Delft and Harvard University, and has been a professor at his alma mater since 2002. He is the chairman of the Kavli Prize committee in Nanoscience and a recipient of the 2015 ERC Advanced Grant. His main interest is in the theory of spin transport and dynamics in insulating and conducting nanostructured materials. 

Ole Petter OttersenOle Petter Ottersen, Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience, UiO, Norway (Neuroscience Chair)

Professor Ole Petter Ottersen is a physician, scholar, and the University of Oslo's elected rector for the period of 2013-2017. Ottersen leads a broad-based team whose objective is to promote the quality of research and tuition at all faculties, and his team aims to develop the University of Oslo into an internationally leading university with academic breadth centred around research. Ottersen has published over 300 articles about cell biology and neuroanatomy, with an emphasis on signal transduction and synaptic transmission, and has received a number of awards for his research, including the Anders Jahre Medical Prize for Young Scientists in 1990 and the Anders Jahre Award for Medical Research (main award) in 2008.


The Big, the Small and the Complex: A Post-Announcement Panel Discussion Moderated by ABC News' Richard Besser

Live from the World Science Festival, New York

Cori BargmannCori Bargmann is a neuroscientist at The Rockefeller University in New York who studies the biology of the brain, asking how genes, the environment, and experience interact to give rise to flexible behaviors. She recently co-chaired the NIH planning committee for the President's BRAIN Initiative, a neuroscience program to advance studies of the brain in health and disease. Among other honors, she is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and received the 2012 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience and the 2013 Breakthrough Award in Life Sciences.

Michal LipsonMichal Lipson joined the Electrical Engineering faculty at Columbia University in July 2015. She completed her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Physics at the Technion in 1998, followed by a Postdoctoral position at MIT in the Materials Science Department. While at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University, she was named Cornell Given Foundation Professor of Engineering. Lipson was one of the main pioneers in the field of silicon photonics and is the inventor of several of the critical building blocks in the field including the GHz silicon modulator. She holds over 20 patents and is the author of over 200 technical papers. Professor Lipson has served as an IEEE Photonics society board of directors member, and co-organized numerous symposia and sessions in OSA conferences. She chaired and served on numerous committees including the Micro and Nanophotonics Subcommittee of CLEO (chair, 2006-2009). She is a co-founder of PicoLuz, a company specializing in nonlinear silicon photonic components. Her honors and awards include the MacArthur Fellow, Blavatnik Award, IBM Faculty Award, and the NSF Early Career Award. She is a fellow of OSA and IEEE. In 2014, she was named by Thomson Reuters as a top 1% highly cited researcher in the field of Physics.

Nergis MavalvalaNergis Mavalvala is a physicist whose research links the world of quantum mechanics, usually apparent only at the atomic scale, with some of the most powerful, yet elusive, forces in the cosmos. She has been working on the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) since 1991, and was a member of the team that announced LIGO’s first detection of gravitational waves in 2016. She received a B.A. from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist at the California Institute of Technology. Since 2002, she has been on the Physics faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she is now the Marble Professor of Physics and recipient of a 2010 MacArthur “genius” award.