Milan, 8 September 2008 – The names of the 2008 Balzan Prize winners were
announced today in a public event:

MAURIZIO CALVESI (Italy), Università di Roma “La Sapienza”, for the Visual
Arts since 1700

THOMAS NAGEL (USA), University of New York, for Moral Philosophy

IAN H. FRAZER (Australia), Diamantina Institute for Cancer, Immunology and
Metabolic Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, for Preventive
Medicine, including Vaccination

WALLACE S. BROECKER (USA), Columbia University, New York, for Science of
Climate Change

The profiles of the winners and the motivations of the awards were presented
by several members of the General Prize Committee:

Dmitry O. Shvidkovsky (Rector of Moscow Institute of Architecture;
Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts; Fellow of the Russian
Academy of Architecture) read the motivation for the assignment of the Prize
for Visual Arts since 1700 to Maurizio Calvesi:
“For his outstanding work on the modern and contemporary visual art which
has contributed to a better understanding of the nature and development of
modernism as well as to the study of the origin of new trends in
contemporary art”.

Salvatore Veca (Professor of Political Philosophy and Vice-Chairman of the
Institute for Advanced Study (IUSS) of Pavia) read the motivation for the
assignment of the Prize for Moral Philosophy to Thomas Nagel:
“For his fundamental and innovative contributions to contemporary ethical
theory, relating to both individual, personal choices and collective, social
decisions. For the depth and coherence of his original philosophical
perspective, which is centered on the essential tension between an objective
and subjective point of view. For the originality and fecundity of his
philosophical approach to some of the most important questions in
contemporary life”.

Werner Stauffacher (Professor Emeritus of Internal Medicine at the
University of Basle; former President of the Swiss Academy of Medical
Sciences, Basle) read the motivation for the assignment of the Prize for
Preventive Medicine, including Vaccination to Ian H. Frazer:
“For his outstanding scientific achievement and lasting contribution to
preventive medicine in developing a vaccine that promises to prevent
virus-induced carcinoma of the cervix, which claims 1/4 million lives every

Enric Banda (Research Professor of Geophysics at the Institute of Earth
Sciences in Barcelona, Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC);
former Secretary General of the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg;
President of Euroscience, Strasbourg) read the motivation for the assignment
of the Prize for Science of Climate Change to Wallace S. Broecker:
“For his extraordinary contributions to the understanding of climate change
through his discoveries concerning the role of the oceans and their
interactions with the atmosphere, as well as the role of glacial changes and
the records contained in ice cores and ocean sediments. His contributions
have been significant in understanding both gradual and abrupt climate

The President of the Balzan Foundation “Prize”, Ambassador Bruno Bottai,
expressed satisfaction for the prestige of the eminent scholars who will be
presented with their Balzan Prizes personally by the President of the
Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano, during an award ceremony to be held in
Rome on November 21 at the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.

The President of the General Prize Committee, Ambassador Sergio Romano,
added that the awarded subjects, which vary each year, make it possible to
encourage specific fields of study which are new or unknown to other
international awards. Two prizes are awarded in the humanities (literature,
the moral sciences and the arts) and two in the sciences (medicine and the
physical, mathematical and natural sciences).
As usual, the Committee’s twenty prestigious scholars from eleven different
European countries put a great deal of effort in selecting the winners from
among the candidates submitted by the most important international cultural
It is important to remember that the Balzan Foundation requests that half of
the million Swiss Francs received by the winner of each of the four subjects
be destined for research work, preferably involving young scholars and

The announcement, which took place at the Triennale di Milano, under the
auspices of the City of Milan and with the participation of the President of
the Milano City Council Manfredi Palmeri, the Commissioner for territorial
development Carlo Masseroli, and the Commissioner for Urban Planning of the
Regione Lombardia Davide Boni, was followed by a lecture by Sir Peter Hall,
2005 Balzan Prize for the Social and Cultural History of Cities since the
Beginning of the 16th Century, titled “The European City: Divided Futures?”.

The International Balzan Prize Foundation, founded in 1957, operates from
two different offices. The International Balzan Foundation – “Prize”
(chaired in Milan by Ambassador Bruno Bottai) selects the subjects to be
awarded and the candidates through its General Prize Committee. The Balzan
Foundation “Fund” (chaired in Zurich by Achille Casanova) administers the
estate left by Eugenio Balzan.

For further information:
PR&D – Public Relations for Research & Education
Campus Vienna Biocenter 2
1030, Vienna
T +43 (0)1 505 70 44
E [email protected]


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