A prize and a competition

I think these two bits of news sum up the disparity between the dignity of an aging professor and that of a fresh-faced new PhD student or postdoc…

The Kavli prize is another Nobel Equivalent, this time offered by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research and the Kavli Foundation. Prizes are offered in Astrophysics, Nanoscience and Neuroscience. The prize for each category is $1,000,000, a scroll and a medal. Prizes have been offered since 2008 and are decided on by representatives from a number of national learned societies across the world. This year’s prize for astrophysics went to three men in the field of telescope design: Jerry Nelson, of the University of California, Santa Cruz, US, Ray Wilson, formerly of Imperial College London and the European Southern Observatory, and Roger Angel, of the University of Arizona, Tucson, US. More details are here.

Meanwhile, a prize for those working on or recently in receipt of a PhD has appeared – if they’re willing to complete one more task, which will go to a vote during the Imagine Science Film Festival in New York on the 15th-24th October. That task is… to produce a video (including the candidates themselves) showing the subject of the PhD performed in dance. I don’t know whether I’d prefer a demonstration of the wobble of a star under the influence of a giant exoplanet or a demonstration of ro-vibrational excited states in molecules more… I guess you’d have to be there… or on youtube…

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