Jerry Nelson receives Kavli Prize at ceremony in Oslo, Norway

UCSC astronomer Jerry Nelson (far left), Ray Wilson, formerly of Imperial College London and the European Southern Observatory, and Roger Angel of the University of Arizona received the Kavli Prize in Astrophysics from H.M. King Harald of Norway.

UC Santa Cruz astronomer Jerry Nelson received the Kavli Prize in Astrophysics at a ceremony on Tuesday, September 7, in Oslo, Norway. The award was announced in June.

King Harald of Norway presented the Kavli Prizes in Astrophysics, Nanoscience, and Neuroscience to a total of eight laureates during a gala event at Oslo Concert Hall, with artist Asa Kleveland, former Minister of Culture for Norway, and actor Alan Alda hosting the ceremony.

The Kavli Prize awarded in each of the three scientific fields carries a cash award of $1 million, donated by Fred Kavli. Each of the laureates also receives a gold medal and a scroll. Nelson shared the astrophysics prize with Roger Angel of the University of Arizona and Ray Wilson of the European Southern Observatory.

The laureates in the disciplines of astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience were recognized for their groundbreaking discoveries and outstanding work in their fields. Each of these disciplines represents exciting and fast-growing areas of scientific research in which new discoveries and insights have the potential to make a strong impact on society, said Nils Christian Stenseth, president of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, in a speech at the ceremony. In addition to recognizing outstanding scientific research and honoring highly creative scientists, the Kavli Prize promotes public understanding of scientists and their work and fosters international cooperation among scientists, Stenseth said.

The Kavli Prizes, awarded every second year, were given for the first time in 2008. Their founder is the Norwegian-American businessman and philanthropist Fred Kavli, who also spoke at the ceremony in Oslo.