Inamori Foundation Announces Three Laureates of 2017 Kyoto Prize

Semiconductor Engineer, Plant Physiologist, Musicologist Share Award

16 June 2017

Kyoto/London – The Inamori Foundation announced on June 16 three laureates of the 2017 Kyoto Prize for their contributions in the fields of Electronics, Biological Sciences and Music. The laureates are Dr. Takashi Mimura, a Japanese semiconductor engineer and honorary fellow at Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., Dr. Graham Farquhar, an Australian plant physiologist and distinguished professor at Australian National University, and Dr. Richard Taruskin, an American musicologist and professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.

 The three laureates will each receive a diploma, the 20-karat gold Kyoto Prize medal and prize money of 50 million yen. The prize presentation ceremony and a joint press conference will be held at the Kyoto International Conference Center on Nov. 10. The laureates will give commemorative lectures on Nov. 11 and will each attend respective workshops on Nov. 12.

Dr. Takashi Mimura

Dr. Takashi Mimura has invented a high electron mobility transistor (HEMT), stacking two different semiconductors. He led the development of HEMTs which have excellent high-frequency characteristics due to the high mobility of their electrons and promoted their applications to microwave receivers for radio astronomy and receivers for broadcasting satellite and GPS systems, mobile phones and their base stations, and millimeter-wave car-borne radars for collision avoidance. The HEMT has greatly contributed to the progress of information and communications technology as well as to physics studies of electrons with reduced dimensions, immensely influencing the foundation of modern society. He is an executive visiting researcher at the Advanced ICT Research Institute of the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology.

Dr. Mimura, 72, from Osaka is a recipient of various awards and honors, including the Medal with Purple Ribbon from the Japanese government, the ISCS Heinrich Welker Award and the Japan Society of Applied Physics Achievement Award.

Dr. Graham Farquhar

Dr. Graham Farquhar has developed a series of process models of photosynthesis, making possible the prediction of the environmental responses of carbon dioxide exchange between vegetation and the atmosphere. The models are extremely important in that it is incorporated in almost all of the existing models of the terrestrial biosphere and carbon cycles and is indispensable for climate change science and environmental science. He has also assisted in the selection of drought-resistant varieties of wheat and peanut by deploying his process-based models. He has served as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a scientific adviser and Australian representative to the Kyoto Protocol negotiations.

Dr. Farquhar, 69, from Tasmania once served as research associate and specialist at the Michigan State University-U.S. Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory before returning to his alma mater, Australian National University. He has received the Humboldt Research Award and the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science, and is an Officer of the Order of Australia.

Dr. Richard Taruskin

Dr. Richard Taruskin is a musicologist and critic who has defied conventional critical paradigms, transforming contemporary perspectives on music through his historical research and essays. He argued that contemporary performances of early music were not true examples of “authenticity” but rather reflections of late 20th century aesthetics. He has said that no rigorous analysis of musical texts can ever really reveal the true intentions of the composer, which must remain a “mystique.” This argument influenced the performance world of early music. His revolutionary method of analyzing original compositions alongside studies of contextual circumstances has reflected his extensive knowledge of history, culture, politics, art, literature and religion. His widely acclaimed books include The Oxford History of Western Music, the most extensive overview of Western music history ever written by a single author. The quality and volume of his work reveal that in music, creativity can be found not only in composition and performance, but also in meticulous discourse contextualizing the art.

A native of New York City, Dr. Taruskin, 72, has received numerous prizes and honors, including the Dent Medal and the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award.

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