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The Descartes Prizes are among the activities supported under the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme, within the Research Directorate Science and Society.

Science Communication Prize

    The Grand Jury 2000

    Grand Jury 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004


      Mr Yves Michot Sir John Maddox Pr. Nikolaï Platé
      Ms A-M Hämäläinen Pr. Federico Mayor Zaragoza Dr Anna C. Roosevelt
      Mr Pantelis Kyriakides Dr Ulf Merbold Mr. Jean Stéphenne
      Dr Rangoni Machiavelli Pr. Ben Mottelson  


    Mr Yves Michot

    President of the Grand Jury and former-Chairmanand CEO of Aérospatiale Matra, Paris

    Yves Michot was born in Nantes, France.Since graduating as an engineer from the École Polytechnique and the École Nationale Supérieure d’Aeronautique he has spent his whole career in aerospace. Heworked first for the French government and in 1973 became project manager of theConcorde programme. He joined Aérospatiale in 1984 and was appointed chief executive in 1996, leading the company through its merger with Matra and a periodof rapid change in the global aerospace industry. Mr Michot holds two of France’s highest honours ‘Officier de la Légiond’Honneur’ and ‘Commandeur de l’Ordre National du Mérite’.



    Ms Aune-Marjatta Hämäläinen


    Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, Frankfurt

    Born in 1939, Finland, Dr. Sirkka Aune-Marjatta Hämäläinen studied at the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration). Since 1991 she has been a Docent and adjacent professor in Economics at the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration. Dr. Hämäläinen has been a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank since 1 June 1998. Before taking on this post, she had a long and outstanding career at the Bank of Finland. She began her career there in 1961 as an Economist. After that she held several positions, acting among others as Director of the Bank of Finland, responsible for macroeconomic analysis and monetary and exchange rate policy (1982-1991), as well as Member of the Board of the Bank of Finland (1991-1992), before being appointed to Governor and Chairman of the Board of Bank of Finland in 1992. In addition to her career at the Bank of Finland, Sirkka Hämäläinen was not only a Director of the Economics Department in the Finnish Ministry of Finance (1981-1982), but also a Chairman of the Board of the Financial Supervision Authority (1996-1997). Dr. Hämäläinen has published numerous publications and articles in the area of economics and monetary policy.

    Mr Pantelis Kyriakides

    Telecommunications engineering

    Vice-President of the European Patent Office (EPO), Munich

    Born in Cyprus, Pantelis Kyriakides studied telecommunications engineering at the University of London. After a brief spell in private industry working for major electronics firms, he joined the UK Patent Office in 1976, and in 1981 transferred to the EPO as a patent examiner specialising in electromechanics, physics, and software and hardware systems for workflow applications. Ten years later, he was appointed director in charge of various automation projects. In 1997, he became principal director of the mechanics division (DG2) and was promoted to his current position in November 1999.



    Dr Rangoni Machiavelli


    Dr Rangoni Machiavelli was born in Rome, Italy, where she still lives. She studied physics and political science at the university in her home town. She was first appointed a member of the Economic and Social Committee by the European Union Council of Ministers in 1982, and was reappointed in 1986, 1990, 1994 and 1998. Dr. Beatrice Rangoni Machiavelli chaired the Various Interests Group. A journalist by profession, she has regularly taken part in television debates and written numerous essays and articles on social affairs, economic matters and women’s issues. She was editor-in-chief of the weekly La Tribuna for ten years. She was also Italian correspondent of the magazine Women of Europe. She also edits the magazine Libro Aperto, a liberal-leaning journal of political ideas. Beatrice Rangoni Machiavelli heads the Italian Council of the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation and represents the Italian Consumers Council at European level.


    Sir John Maddox

    Former Editor of Nature, London

    Born near Swansea in south Wales, John Maddox has had a wide-ranging career. He studied chemistry at Oxford University and King’s College, London, then taught theoretical physics at Manchester University. In 1955 he joined the Manchester Guardian newspaper as science correspondent, leaving in 1964 to head the Nuffield Science Teaching Project, intended to introduce a new science curriculum to British schools. From 1966 he spent seven years as editor of the research journal Nature, before leaving to become first a freelance writer and broadcaster and then director of the Nuffield Foundation. In 1980 he went back to Nature, where he stayed until 1995. Sir John is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society.



    Professor Federico Mayor Zaragoza

    Director General at UNESCO from 1991 to 1999.

    He was born in 1934 in Barcelona, Spain. Federico Mayor Zaragoza graduated in Pharmacy in 1956 and received his doctorate in Pharmacy in 1958, both with Special Awards. He has developed a long and successful career in the academic field as well as in the domain of science and technology policy. He is member of thirty academies and scientific societies. The main research fields of Federico Mayor Zaragoza are cerebral metabolism, perinatal biochemistry and molecular pathology of the new-born, enzymopathies and receptor patologies. He was a member of the Spanish Parliament from 1977 to 1978 and of the European Parliament in 1987. He has been a member of several advisory committees of UNESCO since 1976, and was nominated Deputy Director-General of the organization from 1978 to 1981. Back in his country, Professor Mayor Zaragoza was Minister of Education and Science in the Spanish government from 1981 to 1982. He was Director of the “Institute of Sciences of Man? in Madrid, from 1983-1987 and was Scientific Chairman of the “Severs Ochoa? Molecular Laboratory, also in Madrid and at the same time, he was elected Director- General of UNESCO from 1987 to 1993 and was reelected from 1993 to 1999. At present Professor Mayor Zaragoza is President of the Foundation for the Culture of Peace in Madrid and is Scientific President of the Fundación Areces.


    Dr Ulf Merbold


    Coordinator of the International Space Station at the European Space Agency, Noordwijk

    Ulf Merbold was born in Greiz, Germany, and graduated in physics from Stuttgart University. He joined the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart and in 1977 he was chosen by the European Space Agency as Payload Specialist for the first flight of Spacelab 1, launched from NASA’s Space Shuttle. In 1983 Ulf Merbold became the first non-American to fly on the Space Shuttle, and in 1994 he flew a 32-day mission on the Russian Mir space station. In 1986 he moved to the European Space and Technology Centre in Noordwijk. His many awards include the ‘Order of Friendship’, presented by President Yeltsin of Russia.



    Professor Ben R. Mottelson


    Professor of theoretical physics at the joint Nordic research institute for theoretical physics which operates in symbiosis with the Niels Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

    Ben Mottelson was born in Chicago. Ben Mottelson became a Danish citizen in 1970. Shortly after arriving in Copenhagen, Professor Mottelson began his very close scientific collaboration with Aage Bohr which continued for 30 years. Bohr and Mottelson, together with the many visitors from all over the world who came to work in their group, have especially explored the consequences of deviations from spherical shape on the dynamics and structure of atomic nuclei; another major theme has been the role of nuclear pair correlations in nuclei which have a far reaching connection with the pair correlations responsible for superconductivity in metals. In recent years Professor Ben Mottelson has been interested in the transition between order and chaos in the dynamics of atomic nuclei and has also been concerned with the analysis of the electronic structure of small cluster of metallic atoms-systems that exhibit many features analogous to the structure of atomic nuclei.



    Professor Nikolaï Platé

    Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

    Nikolaï Platé was born in Moscow, USSR, and graduated from Moscow State University. In the 1960s as a polymer scientist he was one of the first researchers to characterise block and graft copolymers. From 1966 to 1985 he headed the chemistry department at Moscow State University, where he became a world leader in the theory of macromolecular reactions and a pioneer of liquid crystal polymers. In 1985 he became Director of the AV Topchiev Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Professor Platé’s other discoveries include organo-germanium and organo-tin polymers, organo-silicon membranes for gas and liquid separations, and physiologically-active polymers for medical applications.


    Dr Anna C. Roosevelt

    Anthropology and archaeology

    Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois, Chicago

    Born in the USA, Anna Roosevelt is a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Until recently, she held the post of curator at the Museum of Chicago. Dr Roosevelt earned her BA degree in history from Stanford University in 1968, and her PhD in anthropology from Columbia in 1977. She has authored many books, monographs, and 65 scientific articles on archaeological topics, and serves on several editorial boards. Her research focuses on the changing relationship of humans and their environments. Since 1983, she has directed the Lower Amazon Project and the Congo River Project in the Central African Republic.


    Mr. Jean Stéphenne

    Business and Administration

    Biological Division of SmithKline Beecham

    was born at Dinant, Belgium. Special degree in Business and Administration at the University of Louvain- La-Neuve (Belgium) in 1980. Experience of 24 years in the Biological Division of SmithKline Beecham - Vaccine Plant and Human Vaccines Development Director. Administrator of SmithKline Beecham Biologicals. Member of Pharmaceutical Management Committee of SB. President of "Union Wallonne des Entreprises" . Member of the management committee of the “Fédération des Entreprises de Belgique? (FEB). Member of the International Association of Biological Standardization (IABS). Member of the European Society for Animal Cell Technology (ESACT). Different publications in international journals. Manager of the Year 1997 .

Descartes Prizes:    2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000