King present at award ceremony NWO Spinoza Prizes 2014

Four scientists will receive the highest scientific prize

25 August 2014

His Majesty King Willem Alexander will be present on 9 September at the awarding of the NWO Spinoza Prizes to experimental physicist Dirk Bouwmeester, archaeologist Corinne Hofman, environmental technologist Mark van Loosdrecht and migratory bird ecologist Theunis Piersma. The NWO Spinoza Prize is the highest Dutch award in science and is worth 2.5 million euros. State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science, Sander Dekker, will present the NWO Spinoza Prizes to the four scientists who will briefly explain their plans for the future. Members of the press are welcome to attend after they have registered.

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) awards the NWO Spinoza Prize each year to researchers working in the Netherlands, who according to international standards belong to the absolute top of their discipline, who inspire young scientists and whose research has an impact on society. An NWO Spinoza Prize is both a personal accolade as well as a major financial boost for further research. With the Spinoza Prize NWO strengthens top research in the Netherlands.

20 years NWO Spinoza Prize

The NWO Spinoza Prize was first awarded in 1995. This year NWO is awarding the NWO Spinoza Prizes for the twentieth time. Including the new laureates, the Netherlands now has 73 NWO Spinoza laureates.

The NWO Spinoza laureates 2014

Professor D. (Dirk) Bouwmeester

(1967) is Professor of Physics at Leiden University and is also a professor at the University of Santa Barbara in California. As an experimental physicist, Bouwmeester studies and tests the boundaries of the quantum mechanical world and investigates whether there is actually a boundary between the quantum mechanical world and the 'classical' world.

Professor C.L. (Corinne) Hofman (1959) is Professor of Caribbean Archaeology at Leiden University. Hofman studies the colonisation of the Caribbean from the viewpoint of the Caribbean-Indian population. With this approach she is rewriting the region's history and is providing new perspectives on a previously forgotten but important chapter in the world's history.

Professor M.C.M. (Mark) van Loosdrecht (1959) is Professor of Environmental Technology at Delft University of Technology. Van Loosdrecht studies and influences the characteristics of microorganisms and microbial communities in technical systems. He combines research and engineering to develop technologies. His research into the behaviour of bacteria under dynamic conditions is leading to new methods for purifying water or for producing valuable materials from waste.

Professor T. (Theunis) Piersma (1958) is Professor of Global Flyway Ecology at the University of Groningen and is Wadden Sea biologist at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). With an international research team he investigates how climate, food, predators, pathogens and historical-genetic background influence mudflat and meadow birds.

About NWO

With a budget of 625 million euros per year, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) is one of the biggest funding bodies for scientific research in the Netherlands. NWO promotes quality and innovation in science by selecting and funding the best research. It manages research institutes of national and international importance, contributes to strategic programming of scientific research in the Netherlands and brings science and society closer together. Research proposals are reviewed and selected by researchers of international repute from both the Netherlands and further afield. More than 5000 scientists can carry out research thanks to funding from NWO.

Source: NWO