The Inamori Foundation is pleased to announce: The 2003 Kyoto Prize Laureates

Awards presented to people who have contributed greatly to mankind's scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment

20 June 2003

The Inamori Foundation (President: Kazuo Inamori) is pleased to announce the laureates for the 2003 Kyoto Prizes, international awards presented to people who have contributed greatly to mankind's scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment.

The 2003 Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology, selected from the field of Materials Science, is awarded to George McClelland Whitesides (U.S.A., 63 years old), Professor, Harvard University, who has achieved a major breakthrough in the creation of nano functional materials through the application of the self-assembly of organic molecules. The Prize for Basic Sciences, selected from the fields of Earth Sciences and Astrophysics, is awarded to Eugene Newman Parker (U.S.A., 76 years old), Professor Emeritus, The University of Chicago, who has laid the foundations for a new perspective on astrophysics by elucidating the phenomena of the solar wind and cosmical hydromagnetic dynamo. The Prize for Arts and Philosophy, selected from the field of Theater and Cinema, is awarded to Tamao Yoshida (Japan, 84 years old), Master Bunraku Puppeteer, who embodies the apex of the world of Bunraku puppet theater, one of Japan’s classical stage arts, and has contributed significantly to Bunraku’s current status as the world’s most highly refined form of puppet theater. The Kyoto Prize Presentation Ceremony will be held at the Kyoto International Conference Hall on November 10, 2003. At the Ceremony, each laureate will be awarded with a diploma, a Kyoto Prize Medal (20K gold), and a prize money. The prize money is 50 million yen per category.
The following are detailed accounts of the achievements of the laureates.

(1) Advanced Technology Category (Fields Selected: Materials Science and Engineering)

George McClelland Whitesides (U.S.A., 63 years old)
Professor George McClelland Whitesides
Professor George McClelland Whitesides (U.S.A., 63 years old)
Professor, Harvard University

“Pioneering a Technique of Organic Molecular Self-assembly and its Application to Nanomaterials Science”

Professor Whitesides’ activities cover an ample spectrum, from fundamental chemistry to related applications and technologies. His achievements represent major innovation in the creation of nano functional materials through exhaustive investigations of the variety of chemical combinations and physicochemical characterization of the specific self-assembly in organic molecules, thereby making a major contribution to the development of new fields in materials science. In the course of his research, Professor Whitesides noted in particular that alkanethiolates adsorb well to gold and silver substrates, an insight which he then developed the technique to fabricate self-assembled monolayers (SAM). These ultra-thin layers of organic molecules occupy an indispensable place among the materials currently employed in organic nanotechnology. In addition, Professor Whitesides further developed the SAM technology to propose a Micro-Contact Printing Method that employs organic substances, making possible micron-scale complex patterning. This method is called soft lithography, and does not require the expensive equipment and advanced technologies necessary for the photolithography used in conventional IC manufacturing. Furthermore, the method can be utilized for patterning organic molecules and bio-molecules, which exhibit a diverse range of properties. Thus it could also be considered a sort of molecular printing, and opens the way to innumerable potential applications.

(2) Basic Sciences Category (Fields Selected: Earth and Planetary Sciences, Astronomy and Astrophysics)

Professor Eugene Newman Parker
Professor Eugene Newman Parker
Professor Eugene Newman Parker (U.S.A., 76 years old)
Professor Emeritus, The University of Chicago

“Elucidation of the of the Solar Wind and Cosmical Magnetohydrodynamic Phenomena”
In 1958, Professor Parker made a theoretical prediction of a supersonic flow of plasmas (charged particles) emitted from the solar corona, which he called the ‘solar wind.’ Several years later, the existence of the solar wind was proven through direct observations by artificial satellites, which made it possible to expound the mechanisms of magnetic storms, auroras and other solar-terrestrial phenomena. Having shown that space between the sun and the earth is filled with this supersonic flow, not a vacuum as had been believed, Professor Parker’s theory triggered drastic changes in the perception of outer space. His achievements go well beyond his predication of the solar wind. He applied cosmical magnetohydrodynamics to the development of the ‘Dynamo theory’ and to what has come to be known as the ‘Parker instability.’ These have contributed to the elucidation of a broad range of phenomena involving fixed stars, the interstellar medium and the Galaxy, creating a new perception of space physics. His book Cosmical Magnetic Fields – Their Origin and Activity (1979) comprises the vast body of his many years of research findings. Regarded as the Bible of cosmic magnetohydrodynamics, to this day it is quoted heavily in scientific papers on that discipline. Author of over 300 scientific papers, Professor Parker has literally taken the lead in guiding the world’s space sciences.

(3) Arts and Philosophy Category (Fields Selected: Theater, Cinema)

Mr. Tamao Yoshida
Mr. Tamao Yoshida
Mr. Tamao Yoshida (Japan, 84 years old)
Bunraku Puppeteer

“The Foremost Master Puppeteer in Bunraku, a Major Classical Performance Art of Japan”
Mr. Tamao Yoshida is the preeminent puppeteer in the classical Japanese performance art of Bunraku puppet theater. Now 84, he continues to perform without any sign of decline, and indeed continues to bring new refinement and clarity to his art. Rather than indulge in crowd-pleasing spectacle, he is unswervingly devoted to exploring the expression of the human condition that is described in jôruri (musical narrative) text. His subtle and refined performance technique, rich sensibility and deeply detailed knowledge of the stories have all contributed to the accolades that Bunraku, through many performances abroad, has earned among foreign audiences as an art that expresses the richness of the human heart more deeply than any other puppet genre. Of all the roles he’s performed, the one that best displays the depth of his talent is Tokubei in Sonezaki Shinjû (Love Suicides at Sonezaki), which has received copious acclaim ever since its memorable 1955 revival (its first postwar performance). In the year 2002, he performed this role a record-breaking 1,111th time. Recognized for his dedication to expressing the spiritual essence of humanity through Bunraku, Tamao was designated a living national treasure in 1997, and is considered a premier stage artist who has helped to make Bunraku the most refined puppet theater genre in the world.

The Inamori Foundation:

The Inamori Foundation was established in 1984 by Kazuo Inamori, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Kyocera Corporation. The Kyoto Prizes were founded in 1985, in line with Dr. Inamori's belief that man has no higher calling than to strive for the greater good of humankind and all the world, and that mankind’s future can be assured only when there is a balance between our scientific development and our psychological maturity. It is characteristic of the Kyoto Prizes that they be presented to individuals or groups in appreciation not only of their outstanding achievements, but also of the excellence of the personal characteristics on which they have built their contributions to mankind over the course of half their lives. The laureates are selected through a strict and fair process from among candidates recommended from around the world, and each receives a diploma, a Kyoto Prize Medal (20k gold), and a prize money of 50 million yen (when more than one laureate is selected for an individual category, the prize money is divided among them). So far, the Prize has been awarded to 59 individuals (including 7Japanese) and one group. This year marks the 19th presentation of the Kyoto Prizes.