Marcel Benoist Prize

The Marcel Benoist Prize, offered by the Marcel Benoist Foundation, is a monetary prize that has been offered annually since 1920 to a scientist of Swiss nationality or residency who has made the most useful scientific discovery. Emphasis is placed on those discoveries affecting human life. Since 1997, candidates in the humanities have also been eligible for the prize.

Marcel Benoist Prize
Prix Marcel Benoist
Awarded forUseful scientific discovery
Sponsored byMarcel Benoist Foundation
First awarded1920; 101 years ago (1920)

The Marcel Benoist Foundation was established by the will of the French lawyer Marcel Benoist, a wartime resident of Lausanne, who died in 1918. It is managed by a group of trustees comprising the Swiss interior minister and heads of the main Swiss universities. It is often dubbed the "Swiss Nobel Prize."[1] The current laureate is Nicola Spaldin.[2]


The first award was given to immunologist Maurice Arthus (1862–1945) at the University of Lausanne. Other winners have included computer scientist Niklaus Wirth, astronomer Michel Mayor, and cardiologist Max Holzmann. As of 2019, eleven Marcel Benoist winners have later also won the Nobel Prize: Paul Karrer, Leopold Ruzicka, Walter R. Hess, Tadeus Reichstein, Vladimir Prelog, Niels Kaj Jerne, Johannes G. Bednorz, Karl. Alexander Müller, Richard R. Ernst, Kurz Wüthrich, and Michel Mayor.

In 2009, Françoise Gisou van der Goot (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne) was the first woman to win the Marcel Benoist Prize.


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Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ Fabien Goubet, Et la lumière fut téléportée, Le Temps, 28 October 2014
  2. ^ Swiss National Science Foundation. "Nicola Spaldin awarded Swiss Science Prize Marcel Benoist". Retrieved 8 November 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

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