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Wittgenstein Award for Kim Nasmyth

06 Jul 1999

This year, the "Austrian Nobel Prize" was awarded to IMP director Kim Ashley Nasmyth (46). On 5 July, the molecular biologist received the 1999 Wittgenstein Award from Federal Chancellor Viktor Klima and Science Minister Caspar Einem. Nasmyth is awarded the 15 million Schilling (approx. 1.1 million Euro) Austrian Science Prize for his research which focuses on the regulation of cell division.

"The ambition to discover new things is an attitude of mind that we all need", commented Chancellor Viktor Klima during the award ceremony. For Science Minister Caspar Einem, the IMP serves as a role model. "Currently, we are looking for a way to learn from the structure and function of the IMP for the Austrian scientific landscape. The example of the IMP shows that we have to rely on people. It is necessary to give researchers freedom; courage must become the basis", said the Minister.

The Wittgenstein Award is an Austrian science award supporting the notion that scientists should be guaranteed the greatest possible freedom and flexibility in the performance of their research. The prize money of up to 1.5 million Euro make it the most highly endowed science award in Austria, money that is tied to research activities within the five years following the award. The Wittgenstein Award is named after the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and is conferred once a year by the Austrian Science Fund FWF on behalf of the Austrian Ministry for Science. This year, the prize was awarded for the fourth time. In 1996, IMP Senior Scientist Erwin Wagner was the first recipient.