THE BLAISE PASCAL MEDALS 2017

Blaise Pascal Medal in Chemistry

Professor Mike Mingos, University of Oxford (United Kingdom)


In recognition to his ground-breaking contributions and pioneering role in the areas of inorganic and structural chemistry where he profoundly influenced the development of the field.

Professor Mingos is an intellectual giant who has made transformative changes right across the area of inorganic and structural chemistry throughout his distinguished career. His contributions to the understanding of bonding in main group and transition metal clusters, through his own experimental and theoretical studies. His name is associated, in particular, with rules used to rationalise and predict the structures of polynuclear complexes that contain element-element bonds. The Wade-Mingos Rules are taught in most advanced inorganic courses in universities right across the world. He has published more than 500 publications and edited more than 100 books in the fields of experimental and theoretical chemistry, which cover an impressive range of topics from coordination chemistry, organometallic chemistry, cluster chemistry, clusters in molecular beams, boron chemistry, chemical bonding and microwave techniques for accelerating chemical reactions, catalysis and molecular recognition. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1992 and received numerous prestigious national and international awards.



Blaise Pascal Medal in Engineering

Professor Nikita Morozov, St. Petersburg State University (Russia)


In recognition of his outstanding and innovative contributions to advanced nonlinear solid mechanics, fracture mechanics, and the related engineering applications.

Professor Nikita Morozov is famous for his pioneering studies of mathematical problems of plate and shell theory, stability and brittle fracture.

He suggested an innovative criterion of dynamic fracture under quick and super-quick loading and together with his colleagues developed new methods of testing structural materials for modern industry. N. Morozov initiated the creation of the Research and Development Centre “Dinamica” dealing with the problems of experimental fracture mechanics within St-Petersburg State University. His main research interests are in the area of nonlinear mechanics of solids, elasticity, integral equations, fracture mechanics. Over the last decide he has made seminal contributions in nanomechanics and nanotechnology, working out some theoretical foundation for predicting mechanical behavior of nanostructured materials accounting for the surface effects.

He has published more than 250 scientific papers and 8 monographs. He is recognized worldwide as an expert in modeling deformation and fracture processes. Nikita Morozov is academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He created one of the Leading Scientific Schools distinguished by the President of the Russian Federation. Because of his impressive scientific achievements, academician Morozov received numerous awards and distinctions. He has promoted cooperation of Russian and Foreign scientists, chaired and organized International conferences, symposia, and workshops in various fields of advanced mechanics and its applications.



Blaise Pascal Medal in Life Sciences

Professor Francisco J. Ayala, University of California, Irvine (United States)


In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the field of evolution and experimental evolutionary biology.

Professor Ayala is one of the most prolific and important evolutionary biologists of our time. He has spearheaded the new field of molecular evolutionary genetics and has been the leading figure among the group of evolutionists who discerned the involvement of natural selection in the evolution of proteins.

Prof Ayala has published more than 1100 articles and is author or editor of some 50 books, He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, as well as a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. He is also a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Spain, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Italy), the Mexican Academy of Sciences, the Latin American Institute for Advanced Studies, and the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts as well as a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.



Blaise Pascal Medal in Materials Science

Professor Luis Liz-Marzan, Center for Cooperative Research in Biomaterials, CIC biomaGUNE (Spain)


In recognition of his contributions to the understanding of nanocrystal growth and self-assembly, plasmonic properties and sensing applications.

Professor Liz-Marzán is one of the pioneers in the field of metal nanoparticle synthesis using colloid chemistry methods. He has made a large impact with his contributions to understanding anisotropic crystal growth in the nanoscale and applying this knowledge to improve the quality of nanoparticles with well defined size and shape. He also developed methods to coat metal nanocrystals with organic and inorganic shells, as a means to improve colloidal stability and facilitate directed self-assembly. As a result of his contributions to synthesis and assembly, it has been possible to experimentally verify theoretical predictions based on electromagnetic modeling. His group has also made outstanding contributions to the application of gold and silver nanoparticles and their assemblies as substrates for the enhancement of Raman scattering by nearby molecules, resulting in the ultrasensitive detection of bio-relevant molecules. Liz-Marzán has consistently maintained an open mind toward the scope of his research, which allowed him to establish a large network of collaborators worldwide. His work has been acknowledged nationally and internationally and he has presented inspiring lectures (about 300) on numerous international conferences on colloid chemistry, nanoplasmonics and nanomedicine. He has published more than 400 scientific papers; he was a Humboldt Awardee of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, received the Medal of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry and has been elected corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Spain, among other prestigious awards.



Blaise Pascal Medal in Mathematics

Professor Felix Otto, Max Planck Institute (Germany)


In recognition for seminal contributions on stochastic homogenization, calculus of variations, functional analysis and applications to thin-film micro magnetism.

Felix OTTO has invented methods which are internationally recognized beyond the mathematics community. His name is already attached to concepts as the Jordan-Kinderlehrer-Otto scheme (JKO scheme), the gradient flow structure of porous media, the Otto-Villani inequality in functional analysis, the Kohn-Müller-Otto theory of thin-film micromagnetism. He had an exceptional impact on generations of famous mathematicians with 120 papers published in a variety of different fields ranging from geometry to applications of mathematics. He is a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina among other prestigious distinctions.