Balzan Report
12 September 2016
The 2016 Balzan Prizewinners
The names of the 2016 Balzan Prizewinners were disclosed today in a public announcement:

Piero Boitani (Italy), Università di Roma “La Sapienza”, for Comparative Literature

The 2016 Balzan Prize for International Relations: History and Theory has not been awarded

Reinhard Jahn (Germany), Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, for Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, including neurodegenerative and developmental aspects

Federico Capasso (Italy/USA), Harvard University, for Applied Photonics.

The Balzan Prizewinners 2016 were announced today in Milan by the Chairman of the Balzan General Prize Committee, Salvatore Veca, together with the President of the Balzan “Prize” Foundation, Enrico Decleva, at the Corriere della Sera Foundation. The profiles of the winners and the citations were presented by four prestigious members of the General Prize Committee.

The Prizes will be presented during the award ceremony to be held in Rome on November 17.
The amount of each prize is 750,000 Swiss Francs (approx. €685,000; $765,000).


Piero Boitani
For his extraordinary ability to represent world literature as living dialogue with the classics of antiquity, the Middle Ages and the modern era; for his innovative studies on the history of the reception of fundamental myths and motives of Western civilization; for his philological method, which reveals the potential meaning of canonical texts and projects this meaning into the future

Reinhard Jahn
For his pioneering studies on the molecular characterization of synaptic vesicles and the roles of protein complexes in the process of exocytosis – an essential mechanism for the transmission of signals in the nervous system

Federico Capasso
For his pioneering work in the quantum design of new materials with specific electronic and optical features, which led to the realization of a fundamentally new class of laser, the Quantum Cascade Laser; for his major contributions in plasmonics and metamaterials at the forefront of photonics science and technology

Considering the importance of the subject area of international relations and the need to choose a winner of the highest level, Salvatore Veca (Chairman of the Balzan General Prize Committee) – in accordance with the tradition of the Balzan Prize – announced that the General Prize Committee will continue their work on reviewing candidates for the field of International Relations: History and Theory and come to a decision in 2017.
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