Semiconductor Engineer, Plant Scientist Honored With 2017 Kyoto Prize

A semiconductor engineer from Japan and a plant physiologist from Australia are among this year’s Kyoto Prize laureates.

AsianScientist (Jun. 21, 2017) – The 2017 Kyoto Prize has been awarded to three individuals: Dr. Takashi Mimura, Professor Graham Farquhar and Professor Richard Taruskin. Considered to be the Nobel Prize of Japan, the Kyoto Prize is presented to individuals who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of humankind.

Previous winners include Dr. Sydney Brenner, Professor Shinya Yamanaka and Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi, who have all gone on to win the Nobel Prize. Each laureate will receive a diploma, the Kyoto Prize medal (20K gold), and prize money of 50 million yen (~US$450,000), at a prize presentation ceremony to be held in Kyoto, Japan on November 10, 2017.

Mimura, who is currently an honorary fellow at Fujitsu Laboratories, was awarded the Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technologies for his invention of high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs). He has played leading roles in the development of HEMTs as high-frequency devices and promoted their applications to microwave receivers for radio astronomy and receivers for broadcasting satellite system, contributing a great deal to the progress of information and communications technology.

Moreover, since electrons confined in the ultrathin layer of HEMTs can move freely only along the interface and behave as two-dimensional electrons with very high mobility, the HEMT has immensely contributed to physics studies of electrons with reduced dimensions.

Farquhar, the recipient of the Kyoto Prize in Biological Sciences, is a plant physiologist and distinguished professor at the Australian National University. He has developed process-based models of photosynthesis, enabling the prediction of the environmental responses of carbon dioxide exchange between vegetation and the atmosphere, as well as models for the fractionation of the stable isotopes of carbon and oxygen during photosynthesis and transpiration.

Farquhar has also actively contributed to climate change science and development of science-based policies, for example as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and also as a scientific advisor and an Australian representative to the Kyoto Protocol negotiations.

Last but not least, the winner of the 2017 Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy is Richard Taruskin, Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. Taruskin was recognized for his pioneering research in musicology that transcends conventional historiographical methodologies.


Source: Kyoto Prize.
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