Winners of Heineken Prizes announced

8 June 2020

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences has awarded the Heineken Prizes this year to biochemist Bruce Stillman (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory), bio-engineer and psychiatrist Karl Deisseroth (Stanford University), historian of science Lorraine Daston (Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte), climate change scientist Corinne Le Quéré (University of East Anglia) and Robert Zatorre (McGill University).

The laureates will be presented with the Heineken Prizes, each worth USD 200,000, on Thursday 1 October 2020.

Dr H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics

Bruce Stillman, President of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the state of New York (USA), is receiving the Dr H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics 2020 for his ground-breaking research on the way DNA is copied in eukaryotic cells, a process of fundamental importance to life on earth.

Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Medicine

Karl Deisseroth, Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (USA), is receiving the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Medicine 2020 for developing optogenetics — a method to influence the activity of nerve cells with light — as well as for developing hydrogel-tissue chemistry, which enables researchers to make biological tissue accessible to light and molecular probes.

Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for History

Lorraine Daston, director emerita of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Germany), is receiving the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Historical Sciences 2020 for her study of the development of the concept of objectivity and the transformation she has brought about in the history of science.

Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences

Corinne Le Quéré, Royal Society Research Professor of Climate Change Science at the University of East Anglia (UK), is receiving the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences 2020 for her interdisciplinary research on the interaction between climate change and the carbon cycle.

C.L. de Carvalho-Heineken Prize for Cognitive Science

Robert Zatorre, Professor of Neuroscience at McGill University (Canada), is receiving the C.L. de Carvalho-Heineken Prize for Cognitive Sciences 2020 for his contribution to the discipline of music cognition. He studies how our nervous system ensures that we can make and enjoy music.

Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art

On 1 May, the Academy announced that the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art 2020 is awarded to Dutch visual artist Ansuya Blom.

About the Heineken Prizes

Over the past five decades, the Heineken Prizes have become an internationally renowned distinction. They are the Netherlands’ most prestigious prizes in the arts and sciences. Every two years, five internationally renowned researchers and one artist, who lives and works in the Netherlands, are honoured. The work of the laureates offers new perspectives, achieves unexpected breakthroughs, and opens up new avenues for others. Since 2010 future generations are also celebrated. Four highly promising young researchers working at Dutch research institutes receive the Heineken Young Scientists Awards.

The laureates are selected by juries made up of members of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Young Academy, and international experts. The Heineken science prizes include a monetary reward of USD 200,000. The artist receives EUR 100,000, half of which is intended for a publication and/or exhibition. The incentive prizes for young scientists are EUR 10,000 each.

The Heineken Prizes were instituted in 1964 by Alfred H. Heineken (1923–2002) in honour of his father Dr Henry P. Heineken (1886–1971). In that year the Dr H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics was awarded for the first time. It has since been joined by five other Heineken Prizes: the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for the Arts (1988), for Medicine (1989), for Environmental Sciences (1990) and History (1990), and the C.L. Carvalho-Heineken Prize for Cognitive Science (2006).

Alfred Heineken’s daughter, Charlene L. de Carvalho-Heineken (b. 1954), is continuing this tradition as chair of the Alfred Heineken Fondsen Foundation and the Dr A.H. Heineken Foundation for Art, which finance the prizes.

More information

For more information, go to www.heinekenprizes.org and Instagram heinekenprizes.