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The French mathematician Jacques Tits officially received from the hands of King Harald of Norway the Abel Prize, Norwegian crown reward progress in the field of mathematics. This award, which he shares with the American John Griggs Thompson, had been awarded on March 27 by the Norwegian Academy of Science for "their discoveries in algebra." This new award for a French scientist followed a series of many distinctions: Abel Prize in 2003 for Jean-Pierre Serre, Fields Medal in 2006 to Wendelin Werner, prices Clay in 2008 to Claire Voisin and Crafoord prize in 2008 for Maxim Kontsevitch .


Dario DiFrancesco (MAE). Awarded the  2008 Grand Prix Scientifique of the Fondation Lefoulon-Delalande- Institut de France,

a prestigious prize awarded once a year by the French Academy of Sciences for achievements in the cardiovascular field. Some information on the prize can be found at: http://www.institut-de-france.fr/minisite/grands_prix_2008/1097_faites_connaissance_avec_les_huit_laureats_des_sept_grands_prix.html The Prize awarded in Paris (11th June)was  for the work leading to the discovery of the "pacemaker" ("funny") ion channels (back in 1979, in Oxford while working in Denis Noble's group) and the way this discovery has led to the development of therapeutic interventions, among which the drug ivabradine, presently prescribed as a therapy against chronic angina.


Thomas Henzinger (MAE),

to  be President of the newly founded Austrian elite Institute for Science and Technology near Vienna http://derstandard.at/?url=/?id=1227287832259


This new “update” is an opportunity to hear from the officers and members of Council of the Academia Europaea.

We are starting with the Vice President – Sierd Cloetingh who was elected in 2008 and took up his post at the AGM in Liverpool in September.

Sierd Cloetingh is the  Royal Netherlands Academy Professor of Earth Sciences at VU University Amsterdam. He has published more than 250 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and has supervised some 55 PhD students of 18 different nationalities. He has served the Earth Science community in various functions, including as President of the European Geophysical Society. He is currently the President of the International Lithosphere Programme, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal “Global and Planetary Change” and Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the European Large Scale Collaborative Research Programme (EUROCORES) TOPO-EUROPE. (see events list)

Sierd has received honorary doctorates from four European universities and numerous honors and awards, including the Stephan Mueller Medal of the European Geosciences Union, Fellow and Honorary Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the Geological Society of America and the Leopold von Buch Medal of the German Geological Society. He is member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and Foreign member of the Royal Norwegian Academy of Sciences, the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences, the Heidelberg Academy and the Bavarian Academy.  In 2006 he was distinguished as Chevalier de Legion d’Honneur for his contributions to science and European scientific cooperation in research and education.

Sierd was elected member of Academia Europaea in 1994 and served Academia Europaea as Chair of the Earth and Marine and Earth and Cosmic Sciences Sections.

In 2008 he was elected by the Council as Vice-President of Academia Europaea.

Sierd’s  personal “vision for the future”:

I have great admiration for those who, in 1988, founded Academia Europaea. In this context of course Sir Arnold Burgen should be mentioned, as well as those who joined him in building a truly pan-European platform for scientists of different backgrounds. This is what makes Academia Europaea unique: a blend

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