Biggest prize for young scientists awarded

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists hopes to inspire younger researchers to push the limits of science by recognizing significant accomplishments among those under the age of 42.

It often takes decades of hard work and cutting-edge research to win prestigious scientific prizes and awards. However, the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists are looking to change that by targeting innovative scientists under the age of 42, and offering a massive $250,000 award!

Currently, the most prestigious award in the scientific community is the Nobel Prize, which splits $1.2 million among up to 3 scientists in a variety of fields like chemistry and physics. Then, there’s the mega Breakthrough Prize offered by internet billionaire Yuri Milner and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, that rewarded each of the five lucky winners this year with $3 million. By comparison, the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists prize pool might seem modest, but it’s still the biggest prize restricted to younger researchers.

Blavatnik Awards are given to scientists based on their past achievements, future potential, and scientific bravery, and this year’s 3 champions are 40-year-old Harvard neurobiologist Rachel Wilson, 40-year-old MIT physicist Marin Soljačić, and 35-year-old Harvard chemist Adam Cohen.

Wilson performed unique studies on fruit flies, decoding their electrical brain signals to better understand more complicated brains like humans, while Cohen learned how to make an exotic chemical light up brain cells for easier analysis. Soljačić designed futuristic materials for use in wireless power charging of devices from a distance.

Images courtesy of The New York Academy of Sciences and the Blavatnik Family Foundation.