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4 Balzan 2009 prize winners announced in Milan
Date:9/8/2009

nces ) read the motivation for the assignment of the Science of New Materials Award to Michael Grtzel for "his numerous contributions to the Science of New Materials and in particular for having invented and developed a new class of solar cells, devices that are intended to transform the sun's energy into electricity. In a Grtzel cell, quanta of light from the sun are captured by dye molecules, which release electrons to a network of semiconductor oxide nanoparticles, generating energy for electricity. The dye sensitized cell thus mimics the natural process used by green plants in photosynthesis, Grtzel's discoveries also have important practical applications in the production of sustainable energy.

The President of the General Prize Committee, Professor Salvatore Veca, announced that the 2010 Balzan Prizes will be awarded in the following fields: History of Europe 1400-1700; History of the Theater; Biology of Stem Cells and their Potential Applications; Mathematics (Pure or Applied). The award fields vary each year and can be related to either a specific or an interdisciplinary field, and look to go beyond the traditional subjects both in the humanities (literature, the moral sciences and the arts) and in the sciences (medicine and the physical, mathematical and natural sciences), so as to give priority to innovative research.

Half of the one million Swiss Francs received by the winner of each of the four subjects must be destined for research work, preferably involving young scholars and researchers.

The press conference was held in the presence of the President of the Corriere della Sera Foundation Piergaetano Marchetti and the City Official for Culture Massimiliano Finazzer Flory, and was followed by a lecture by Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, 1999 Balzan Prize for the Science of Human Origins, entitled "Italian Culture: a multidisciplinary history".


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