Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences

The Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences is awarded once a year by the Inamori Foundation. The Prize is one of three Kyoto Prize categories; the others are the Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology and the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy. The first Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences was awarded to Claude Elwood Shannon, the “Establishment of Mathematical Foundation of Information Theory”.[1] The Prize is widely regarded as the most prestigious award available in fields which are traditionally not honored with a Nobel Prize.[2]

The Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences
Kyoto Prize(U-S-A-) 2013-11-03 17-37.jpg
Awarded forGlobal achievement in Basic Sciences
Presented byInamori Foundation
First awarded1985


The Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences is awarded on a rotating basis to researchers in the following four fields:


Source: Kyoto Prize

Biological sciencesEdit

Year Laureate Country
1986 George Evelyn Hutchinson   United States 1903–1991 Outstanding Contribution to Limnology and Community Ecology by Integrative Ecological Niche Theory[3]
1990   Jane Goodall   United Kingdom born 1934 Long-Term Study of Behavior, Sociology, and Ecology of Chimpanzees in the Wild[4]
1993 William Donald Hamilton   United Kingdom 1936–2000 Proposal of Inclusive Fitness and the Establishment of Evolutionary Theory of Sociality and Cooperation[5]
1997   Daniel Hunt Janzen   United States born 1939 Pioneering Study of Biodiversity in Tropics and Its Maintenance Mechanisms[6]
2001   John Maynard Smith   United Kingdom 1920–2004 Contribution to Evolutionary Biology by Proposing the Idea of the Evolutionarily Stable Strategy (ESS)[7]
2005 Simon Asher Levin   United States born 1941 Establishment of the field of spatial ecology and the proposition of the biosphere as a "complex adaptive system"[8]
2009 Barbara Rosemary Grant   United Kingdom born 1936 Demonstrating Rapid Evolution Caused by Natural Selection in Response to Environmental Changes[9][10]
Peter Raymond Grant   United Kingdom born 1936
2013   Masatoshi Nei   United States born 1931 Research on the Evolution of Biological Populations Using Quantitative Analyses of Genetic Variation and Evolutionary Time[11]
2017   Graham Farquhar   Australia born 1947 Development of Process-based Models of Photosynthesis and Their Contributions to the Science of Global Environmental Changes[12]

Mathematical sciencesEdit

Year Laureate Country
1985   Claude Elwood Shannon   United States 1916–2001 Establishment of Mathematical Foundation of Information Theory[13]
1989 Izrail Moiseevich Gelfand   Soviet Union 1913–2009 Outstanding Contribution to Many Fields of Mathematical Sciences, Especially Pioneering Studies in Functional Analysis[14]
1994   André Weil   France 1906–1998 Broad Contribution to the Modern Mathematics, Especially through the Foundational Works in Algebraic Geometry and Number Theory[15]
1998   Kiyoshi Itō   Japan 1915–2008 Fundamental Contribution to the Stochastic Analysis, through His Invention of Stochastic Differential Equations, Which Have Been Applied in Various Sciences[16]
2002   Mikhail Gromov   France born 1943 Contributions through dramatic developments in a range of mathematical fields by introducing the innovative method of a metric structure for families of various geometrical objects[17]
2006 Hirotsugu Akaike   Japan 1927–2009 Major contribution to statistical science and modeling with the development of the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC)[18]
2010   László Lovász   Hungary born 1948 Outstanding Contributions to Mathematical Sciences Based on Discrete Optimization Algorithms[19]
2014   Edward Witten   United States born 1951 Outstanding Contributions to the Development of Mathematical Sciences through the Exploration of Superstring Theory[20]
2018   Masaki Kashiwara   Japan born 1947 Outstanding Contributions to a Broad Spectrum of Modern Mathematics: Advancement of D-module Theory from Its Foundation[21]

Earth and planetary sciences, astronomy and astrophysicsEdit

Year Laureate Country
1987   Jan Hendrik Oort   Netherlands 1900–1992 Outstanding Contribution to Astronomy by the Elucidation of Structure and Dynamics of the Galaxy[22]
1991 Edward Norton Lorenz   United States 1917–2008 Outstanding Contribution to Earth Science and Mathematical Science by the Development of Theoretical Basis of Numerical Study in Meteorology and the Discovery of Deterministic Chaos[23]
1995 Chūshirō Hayashi   Japan 1920–2010 Outstanding Contribution to Astrophysics through the Theoretical Studies of the Stellar Formation and Evolution and the Formation of Solar System[24]
1999   Walter Heinrich Munk   United States born 1917 Outstanding Contribution to the Earth Science by the Elucidation of Dynamical Mechanism of Ocean and Its Waves[25]
2003   Eugene Newman Parker   United States born 1927 Contributions to Astrophysics through the Elucidation of the Solar Wind and Cosmical Magnetohydrodynamic Phenomena[26]
2007 Hiroo Kanamori   Japan born 1936 Elucidation of Physical Processes of Earthquakes and Its Application to Hazard Mitigation[27]
2011   Rashid Alievich Sunyaev
born 1943 Proposal of the Theory of Fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation to Explore the Expanding Universe, and Outstanding Contribution to High-Energy Astronomy[28]
2015   Michel Mayor    Switzerland born 1942 Outstanding Contributions in Evolving a New Vision of the Universe through the Discovery of Extrasolar Planet[29]
2019 James E. Gunn   United States born 1938 Outstanding Contributions to the Elucidation of Cosmic History Based on a Large-Scale Wide-Field Observation.[30]

Life sciencesEdit

Year Laureate Country
1992   Yasutomi Nishizuka   Japan 1932–2004 Elucidation of Intracellular Signal Transduction System through the Discovery and Functional Analysis of the Protein Kinase C[31]
1996   Mario Renato Capecchi   United States born 1937 Production of Knockout Mice through the Development of Gene Targeting Technique and Outstanding Contribution to Elucidation of Gene Function[32]
2000   Walter Jakob Gehring    Switzerland born 1939 Discovery of Conserved Developmental Mechanisms[33]
2004   Alfred G. Knudson   United States 1922–2016 Seminal contribution to the establishment of the theory of the tumor suppressor gene in the mechanism of human carcinogenesis[34]
2008 Anthony James Pawson 1952–2013 Proposing and Proving the Concept of Adapter Molecules in the Signal Transduction[35]
2012   Yoshinori Ohsumi   Japan born 1945 Outstanding Contribution to Elucidating the Molecular Mechanisms and Physiological Significance of Autophagy, a Cellular Adaptive System to Environment[36]
2016   Tasuku Honjo   Japan born 1942 Discovery of the Mechanism Responsible for the Functional Diversification of Antibodies, Immunoregulatory Molecules and Clinical Applications of PD-1[37]

Cognitive scienceEdit

Year Laureate Country
1988   Avram Noam Chomsky   United States born 1928 Creation of the Theory of Generative Grammar and Substantial Contribution to the Formation and Development of Cognitive Science[38]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Claude Elwood Shannon". Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Kyoto Prize honors achievement and character". USA Today. 11 November 2006. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  3. ^ "George Evelyn Hutchinson". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  4. ^ "Jane Goodall". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  5. ^ "William Donald Hamilton". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  6. ^ "George Evelyn Hutchinson". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  7. ^ "John Maynard Smith". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  8. ^ "Simon Asher Levin". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  9. ^ "Barbara Rosemary Grant". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  10. ^ "Peter Raymond Grant". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  11. ^ "Masatoshi Nei". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  12. ^ Graham Farquhar 2017
  13. ^ "Claude Elwood Shannon". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  14. ^ "Izrail Moiseevich Gelfand". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  15. ^ "André Weil". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  16. ^ "Kiyosi Itô". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  17. ^ "Mikhael Leonidovich Gromov". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  18. ^ "Hirotugu Akaike". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  19. ^ "László Lovász". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  20. ^ "Edward Witten". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  21. ^ "Masaki Kashiwara". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  22. ^ "Jan Hendrik Oort". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  23. ^ "Edward Norton Lorenz". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  24. ^ "Chushiro Hayashi". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  25. ^ "Walter H. Munk". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  26. ^ "Eugene Newman Parker". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  27. ^ "Hiroo Kanamori". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  28. ^ "Rashid Alievich Sunyaev". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  29. ^ "Michel Mayor". Inamori Foundation. Archived from the original on 2016-08-23. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  30. ^ James E. Gunn 2019
  31. ^ "Yasutomi Nishizuka". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  32. ^ "Mario Renato Capecchi". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  33. ^ "Walter Jakob Gehring". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  34. ^ "Alfred George Knudson, Jr". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  35. ^ "Anthony James Pawson". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  36. ^ "Yoshinori Ohsumi". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  37. ^ "Tasuku Honjo". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  38. ^ "Avram Noam Chomsky". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-15.