Crafoord Prize

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 in polyarthritis 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 6,000,000 kr (or US$700,000), is intended to fund further research by the laureate.

The inaugural laureates, 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 Ref.
1982 Mathematics Vladimir Arnold Russian Theory of non-linear differential equations [3][4]
 Louis Nirenberg Louis Nirenberg Canadian American[A] [3][5]
1983 Geosciences Edward Norton Lorenz American Geophysical hydrodynamics [3][6]
 Henry Stommel Henry Stommel American
1984 Biosciences  Daniel Janzen Daniel H. Janzen American Co-evolution [3][7]
1985 Astronomy  Lyman Spitzer Lyman Spitzer American Studies of the interstellar medium [3][8]
1986 Geosciences  Claude Allègre Claude Allègre French Isotope geochemical relations [3][9]
Gerald J. Wasserburg American
1987 Biosciences Eugene Odum American Ecosystem ecology [3][10]
Howard T. Odum American
1988 Mathematics Pierre Deligne Belgian Algebraic geometry [3][11]
Alexander Grothendieck None[B] [3][12]
1989 Geosciences  James Van Allen James Van Allen American Exploration of space, the discovery of the Van Allen belts [3][9]
1990 Biosciences  Paul R. Ehrlich Paul R. Ehrlich American Dynamics and genetics of fragmented populations [3][13]
 Edward Osborne Wilson E. O. Wilson American Theory of island biogeography [3][14]
1991 Astronomy Allan Sandage American Study of galaxies [3][15]
1992 Geosciences Adolf Seilacher German Research into evolution of life [3][9]
1993 Biosciences W. D. Hamilton British Theories of kin selection and genetic relationship [3][16]
 Seymour Benzer in his office at Caltech in 1974 with a big model of Drosophila Seymour Benzer American Genetical and neurophysiological studies of fruit flies [3][17]
1994 Mathematics  Simon Donaldson Simon Donaldson British Four-dimensional geometry [3][18]
 Shing-Tung Yau Shing-Tung Yau American[C] Non-linear techniques in differential geometry [3][19]
1995 Geosciences Willi Dansgaard Danish Development of isotope geological analysis methods [3][9]
 Nicholas Shackleton Nicholas Shackleton British
1996 Biosciences  Robert May Robert May Australian Ecological research [3][20]
1997 Astronomy  Fred Hoyle Fred Hoyle British Study of nuclear processes in stars, stellar evolution [3][21]
Edwin Ernest Salpeter American [3][22]
1998 Geosciences  Don L. Anderson Don L. Anderson American Study of the structures and processes in the interior of the Earth [3][17]
Adam M. Dziewonski American[D] [3][23]
1999 Biosciences  Ernst Mayr in 1994, after receiving an honorary degree at the University of Konstanz Ernst Mayr American Developing the concept of evolutionary biology [3][24]
John Maynard Smith British
George C. Williams American
2000 Polyarthritis Marc Feldmann British Definition of TNF-alpha [3][2]
 Ravinder N. Maini Ravinder N. Maini British
2001 Mathematics  Alain Connes Alain Connes French Theory of operator algebras, founder of the non-commutative geometry [3][25]
2002 Geosciences Dan McKenzie British Dynamics of the lithosphere [3][26]
2003 Biosciences  Carl Woese Carl Woese American Third domain of life [3][27]
2004 Polyarthritis Eugene C. Butcher American Study of molecular mechanisms concerning white blood cells [3][28]
Timothy A. Springer American
2005 Astronomy  James E. Gunn James E. Gunn American Understanding the large-scale structure of the Universe [3][17]
 James Peebles James Peebles American [3][29]
Martin Rees British
2006 Geosciences  Wallace Smith Broecker Wallace Smith Broecker American Research into the global carbon cycle [3][30]
2007 Biosciences Robert Trivers American Analysis of social evolution [3][31]
2008 Astronomy Rashid Sunyaev Rashid Alievich Sunyaev Russian Contributions to high-energy astrophysics and cosmology [3][32]
Mathematics  Maxim Kontsevich Maxim Kontsevich Russian[E] Contributions to mathematics from modern theoretical physics [3][33]
 Edward Witten writing on a blackboard Edward Witten American
2009 Polyarthritis  Charles Dinarello Charles Dinarello American Isolation of interleukins, understanding their role in the onset of inflammatory diseases [3][34]
 Tadamitsu Kishimoto Tadamitsu Kishimoto Japanese
 Toshio Hirano Toshio Hirano Japanese
2009  Magnus Bäck Magnus Bäck Sweden
2010 Geosciences  Walter Munk Walter Munk American "for his pioneering and fundamental contributions to our understanding of ocean circulation, tides and waves, and their role in the Earth's dynamics". [3][17]
2011 Biosciences  Ilkka Hanski Ilkka Hanski Finnish "for his pioneering studies on how spatial variation affects the dynamics of animal and plant populations". [3][35]
2012 Astronomy  Reinhard Genzel Reinhard Genzel German "for their observations of the stars orbiting the galactic centre, indicating the presence of a supermassive black hole". [3][36]
 Andrea M. Ghez Andrea M. Ghez American
Mathematics  Jean Bourgain Jean Bourgain Belgian "for their brilliant and groundbreaking work in harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, ergodic theory, number theory, combinatorics, functional analysis and theoretical computer science". [3][37]
Terence Tao Terence Tao Australian American
2013 Polyarthritis  Peter K. Gregersen Peter K. Gregersen American "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". [3][38]
 Lars Klareskog Lars Klareskog Swedish
 Robert J. Winchester Robert J. Winchester American
2014 Geosciences Peter Molnar American "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". [3][39]
2015 Biosciences Richard Lewontin American "for their pioneering analyses and fundamental contributions to the understanding of genetic polymorphism". [3][40]
Tomoko Ohta Japanese
2016 Astronomy Roy Kerr Roy Kerr New Zealand "for fundamental work concerning rotating black holes and their astrophysical consequences" [41][42]
Roger Blandford American
Mathematics Yakov Eliashberg Yakov Eliashberg Russian "for the development of contact and symplectic topology and groundbreaking discoveries of rigidity and flexibility phenomena"


a Nirenberg was born in Canada.[5]

b Grothendieck was born in Germany, but spent most of his life in France and was legally stateless. He declined his prize.[12]

c Shing-Tung Yau was born in China.[43]

d Dziewonski was born in Poland.[23]

e Kontsevich was born in Russia.[33]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 "About the prize". The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  2. 1 2 "King of Sweden awards Crafoord Prize to IC researchers". Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine. 4 October 2000.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 "The Crafoord Prize 1982–2014" (PDF). The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  4. Maugh II, Thomas H. (21 June 2010). "Vladimir Arnold dies at 72; Russian mathematician". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  5. 1 2 "Louis Nirenberg Receives National Medal of Science" (PDF). American Mathematical Society. October 1996. p. 1111. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
  6. Smith, Leonard A. (23 October 2011). "Professor Edward Lorenz: Meteorologist whose work on weather prediction led to the discovery of chaos and the 'butterfly effect'". The Independent. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  7. "Daniel H. Janzen Wins 2011 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award". University of Pennsylvania. 16 February 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  8. Gahm, Gösta. "The Crafoord Prize 1985 in Astronomy to Professor Lyman Spitzer Jr.". IOP Publishing. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  9. 1 2 3 4 Reed, Christina (2009). Earth Science. New York, NY: Infobase Publishing. p. 291. ISBN 978-1-4381-0979-4.
  10. Becher, Anne; Richey, Joseph (2008). American Environmental Leaders: M-Z. Amenia, NY: Grey House Publishing. p. 603. ISBN 978-1-5923-7119-8.
  11. Ruelle, David (2007). The Mathematician's Brain. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-6911-2982-2.
  12. 1 2 Matthews, Robert (20 August 2006). "Mathematics, where nothing is ever as simple as it seems". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
  13. "Paul R. Ehrlich". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  14. "Edward O. Wilson". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  15. "Allan Sandage". The Daily Telegraph. 21 November 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  16. "William Donald Hamilton". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  17. 1 2 3 4 "Crafoord Laureates". California Institute of Technology. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  18. "Simon Donaldson". Royal Society. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  19. "Shing-Tung Yau". University of St Andrews. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  20. Levine, Simon A. (September 1996). "Robert May Receives Crafoord Prize" (PDF). American Mathematical Society. p. 977. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  21. "Professor Sir Fred Hoyle". The Daily Telegraph. 22 August 2001. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  22. "Edwin Salpeter". The Guardian. 4 February 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  23. 1 2 "Dziewonski Receives 2002 William Bowie Medal". American Geophysical Union. Archived from the original on 2010-11-27. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
  24. "Sussex Biologist Scoops Crafoord Prize". University of Sussex. 26 February 1999. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  25. "Connes Receives 2001 Crafoord Prize" (PDF). American Mathematical Society. May 2001. p. 502. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  26. "Dan McKenzie". British Library. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  27. Yardley, William (31 December 2012). "Carl Woese Dies at 84; Discovered Life's 'Third Domain'". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  28. Baker, Mitzi (11 February 2004). "Pathology professor Butcher takes home Sweden's other big prize, the Crafoord". Stanford University. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  29. Schilling, Govert (27 January 2005). "Cosmology Pays Off". Science. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  30. "Wallace Broecker". Royal Society. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  31. "Behavioral and Brain Sciences". Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  32. "Crafoord Prize 2008 awarded to Rashid Sunyaev". Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics. 21 January 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  33. 1 2 "Kontsevich and Witten Receive 2008 Crafoord Prize in Mathematics" (PDF). American Mathematical Society. May 2008. p. 583. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
  34. "Techne Corporation Board Member Recognized". PR Newswire. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  35. "Ilkka Hanski receives the Crafoord Prize". University of Helsinki. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  36. "Reinhard Genzel wins Crafoord Prize". Royal Astronomical Society. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  37. "Jean Bourgain and Terence Tao Named 2012 Crafoord Laureates in Mathematics". Institute for Advanced Study. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  38. Wollheim, Frank A. (22 August 2013). "The Crafoord Prize in polyarthritis 2013" (PDF). pp. 1–2. doi:10.1093/rheumatology/ket285. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  39. "Peter Molnar wins Crafoord Prize in Geosciences". Royal Astronomical Society. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  40. Lane, Isabel (19 January 2015). "Crafoord Prize in Biosciences goes to genetic polymorphism research". Biofuels Digest. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  41. "NZ astrophysicist awarded $1m prize". Sky News Australia. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  42. "Yakov Eliashberg awarded the Crafoord Prize in Mathematics". Stanford University. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  43. Overbye, Dennis (17 October 2006). "The Emperor of Math". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 July 2009.

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