The Princess of Asturias Prize for Scientific and Technical Research 2021 in Oviedo, Spain, is awarded to seven scientists and doctors who have contributed to the development of different vaccines against the Corona virus.
The scientists honored are the galactic biologist Katalin Kariko. American immunologist Drew Wiseman. the two German doctors Ugur Sahin and Ozlim Turise; Canadian biologist Derek Rossi; British vaccinologist Sarah Gilbert; And the American biochemist Philip Felgner.
According to the Princess of Asturias Foundation, they have independently contributed to “the development of some of the approved vaccines to date.”
The jury explained that all of these vaccines focused on different strategies that had a “common target” – the spike protein, which is found on the surface of the virus and facilitates its binding and entry into human cells.
The jury considers the winners to be the protagonists of “one of the most remarkable events in the history of science” and their work is an “excellent example of the importance of basic science to protecting global health.” The jury concluded that the work of the seven scientists opens a “pathway of hope for use against other diseases.”
This was the seventh of eight Princess of Asturias Awards This year, given on Wednesday, after the Communications and Humanities Prize was awarded to American journalist and writer Gloria Steinem; by Serbian artist Marina Abramović; the social sciences of Indian economist Amartya Sim; for Spanish swimmer Teresa Peralves for sport; On the letters of the French writer Emmanuel Carrier; and for international cooperation to organize a campaign to educate women (Camped).
The Princess of Asturias Prize for Scientific and Technical Research in 2020 is awarded to mathematicians Yves Mayer (French), Ingrid Dubices (Belgian and North America), Terence Tau (Australian and North American) and Emmanuel Candice (French) for their “far-reaching and pioneering contributions to modern theories and techniques for processing Mathematical data and signals.
In previous editions, North American Joan Khoury and Argentinian Sandra Mirna Díaz (2019) received the same award; Svante Babu (2018); Rainer Weiss, Kip S. Thorne, Barry C. Parish and the LEGO Science Collaboration (2017); and Hugh Hare (2016).
The Princess of Asturias Awards distinguish, in general, “scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanitarian work” carried out by persons or institutions at the international level. The Scientific and Technical Research Prize is awarded to “work related to the creation and development of research, discovery and/or invention in mathematics, astronomy, astrophysics, physics, chemistry, life sciences, medical sciences, earth and space sciences and technological sciences.”
Each award consists of a statue of the Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miro (a symbol representing the award), 50,000 euros, a diploma and a badge, which, until 2019, were presented at an official ceremony presided over by the King of Spain, Felipe. The sixth, at the Campoamor Theatre, in Oviedo.