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Balzan prizes honour plant ecologist and mathematician

Plant ecologist G. David Tilman of the University of Minnesota in Saint Paul and mathematician Dennis Sullivan of the City University of New York are among the four winners of this year’s prestigious Balzan Prize. The announcement was made on 8 September.

The prize is awarded by the International Balzan Prize Foundation, based in Milan, Italy, and Zurich, Switzerland. Each year, the jury selects four different categories for the award. Each winner receives 750,000 Swiss francs (US$800,000) and must spend half of it on research projects carried out, preferably, by young scholars or scientists.

Tilman was recognized for contributions to theoretical and experimental plant ecology that have illuminated how plant communities are structured and interact with their environment.

Sullivan was recognized for his work in topology and the theory of dynamical systems, as well other fields of maths, including geometry, the theory of Kleinian groups, analysis and number theory.

The other 2014 winners were Mario Torelli of the University of Perugia, Italy, for classical archaeology, and Ian Hacking of the University of Toronto, Canada, for epistemology and philosophy of mind.

The categories for the 2015 prizes will be oceanography, astroparticle physics including neutrino and γ-ray observation, history of European art (1300–1700) and economic history.


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