Six new Heineken Prizes 2012 Laureates

15 March 2012

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has announced the names of the six recipients of the 2012 Heineken Prizes.

Every other year, five world-renowned researchers receive a prize of USD 150,000 each for their outstanding work in their field. A sixth prize of EUR 50,000 is awarded to an artist who lives and works in the Netherlands.

The winners of the 2012 Heineken Prizes were chosen by independent juries appointed by the Royal Academy. The prizes were funded by the Dr. H.P. Heineken Foundation and the Alfred Heineken Fondsen Foundation.

The laureates

Titia de Lange, professor at Rockefeller University in New York (United States).
Prof. De Lange is receiving the Dr. H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics for her research on telomeres, the protective DNA sequences located at the tips of chromosomes, which play an important role in such processes as ageing and cancer.

Hans Clevers, director of the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht (Netherlands).
Prof. Clevers is receiving the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Medicine for his unique understanding of how tissue growth is regulated, both in normal development and in cancer.

William Laurance, professor at James Cook University in Cairns (Australia).
Prof. Laurance is receiving the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences for his research on the effects of habitat fragmentation, deforestation, hunting and fire on the vulnerable Amazon region. He also plays a major role as a science communicator in the public debate on the preservation of the South American rainforest.

Geoffrey Parker, professor at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio (United States).
Prof. Parker is receiving the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for History for his outstanding scholarship on the social, political and military history of Europe between 1500 and 1650, in particular Spain, Philip II, and the Dutch Revolt; for his contribution to military history in general; and for his research on the role of climate in world history. 

John Duncan, assistant director of the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge (United Kingdom).
Prof. Duncan is receiving the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Cognitive Science for his remarkable innovative, multidisciplinary research into the relationships between psychology, behaviour and intelligence on the one hand and neural processes on the other. His concepts have become a cornerstone of cognitive neuroscience.

Peter Struycken, artist in Gorinchem (Netherlands).
Struycken is receiving the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Art for the methodical way in which he has used shapes, colours and processes in his innovative and appealing works of art for the past fifty years. Familiar examples are his arcade lighting for the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam, his undulating Blue Waves pavement in Arnhem, and his design for a postage stamp bearing a portrait of Dutch Queen Beatrix constructed of shifted dots.


The 2012 Heineken Prizes will be presented on Thursday 27 September 2012 during an extraordinary meeting of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences at the Beurs van Berlage Building in Amsterdam.