Balzan Prizes 2017 awarded in Berne
Berne,17 November 2017 - Today, During the Awards Ceremony at the Federal Palace in Berne, this year’s Balzan Prizes were presented to:
Bina Agarwal (India), for Gender Studies
Aleida and Jan Assmann (Germany), for Collective Memory
James P. Allison and Robert D. Schreiber (USA), for Immunological Approaches in Cancer Therapy
Michaël Gillon (Belgium), for The Sun’s Planetary System and Exoplanets
Robert O. Keohane, (USA) for International Relations, History and Theory (2016)
The presentation of the parchments took place in the presence of the President of the Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard. The Presidents of the Balzan Foundation "Prize" and "Fund", Enrico Decleva and Gisèle Girgis-Musy, delivered the official speeches.
In accordance with the ceremony’s usual formalities, each Prizewinner gave a speech of acceptance and thanks after being introduced by the Chairman of the General Prize Committee, Salvatore Veca.
According to established tradition reflecting the Italo-Swiss nature of the International Balzan Foundation, the Awards Ceremony takes place in alternate years in Rome, in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic, and in Berne, in the presence of a Representative of the Federal Council of the Swiss Confederation.
The International Balzan Foundation awarded 750,000 Swiss Francs (approx. €650,000, $750,000) for each prize, a figure which places the Balzan Prize amongst the largest prize funds in the world of Science and Culture. The winners are each required to allocate half of their prize money to funding research projects carried out preferably by young scholars or scientists in their respective fields.

The Ceremony was preceded, on Thursday 16 November, by the Balzan Prizewinners Interdisciplinary Forum, a public event dedicated to the Balzan Prize subject areas for the current year, with the Prizewinners playing the prominent role.
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