Seven researchers involved in developing coronavirus vaccines, including Catalin Carrico, won this year’s Princess of Asturias Prize, also known as the Spanish Nobel Prize, in the science and technology category, the jury announced its decision on Wednesday in Oviedo.
In addition to the Hungarian biologist, the honorees included the American immunologist Drew Wiseman, the German doctors Ugur Şahin and Ozlem Turek, the Canadian biologist Derek Rossi, the British vaccinologist Sarah Gilbert, and the American biochemist Philip Feligner.
Award-winning researchers are the heroes of one of the most remarkable events in the history of science. Their work is an excellent example of the importance of basic science in protecting health around the world
– stated in the jury’s reasoning. Scientists’ long career in basic research has been praised, leading to innovations that led to the development of effective coronavirus vaccines in record time. In addition, the use of mRNA-based or adenovirus-based vaccines could be promising for other diseases.
The seven researchers from 48 candidates from 17 countries won the prize of fifty thousand euros (17.8 million forints) and the world-famous statue of Joan Miro, which is traditionally displayed in Oviedo in October with a festive presence in the presence of the Spanish royal family.
Last year’s science and technology category award went to four mathematicians, Yves Mayer of France, Ingrid Dubiches of Belgium, Terrence Tau of Australia and Emmanuel Candice of France for improving the compression of large digital data files, including jpeg images.
The Princess of Asturias Prize is presented each year in eight categories, this year’s winners announced: Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović, American feminist writer Gloria Steinem, journalist, Indian economist Amartya Sen, philosopher, Spanish Paralympic swimmer Teresa Perales, and French Paralympic swimmer. and CAMFED, an international non-governmental organization working to educate African women.