Frontiers of knowledge
29 Oct 2019
Noam Chomsky received the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Humanities and Social Sciences in a ceremony at his home in Tucson, Arizona. BBVA Foundation President Carlos Torres Vila made the special trip to present him the award, as the U.S. linguist was unable to attend the award ceremony in Bilbao last June. “This is a recognition to your unparalleled contributions to the understanding of human language, which have had a tremendous influence in so many fields,” said Torres Vila.
14 Oct 2019
Once again, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ criteria reaffirms a previous decision by the BBVA Foundation. Banerjee and Duflo, founders of MIT’s Poverty Action Laboratory, were honored in the first edition of BBVA Foundation’s Frontiers of Knowledge awards in 2008. Considering that ten Frontiers of Knowledge awardees have been subsequently recognized by the Swedish Academy, it could be argued that, to a certain extent, BBVA Foundation’s awards are becoming a prelude to the Nobel awards.
18 Jun 2019
This year, the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards ceremony underscored the need for an increased commitment to sustainability across the globe. “Climate change, the biodiversity crisis and inequality are issues whose future consequences may be much more serious if we fail to act now,” said the President of BBVA Foundation Carlos Torres Vila during his address. The awardees gathered to attend a gala that was held for the first time this year in the city of Bilbao.
16 Apr 2019
The BBVA Foundation has recognized the U.S. linguist with the Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Humanities and Social Sciences Category, a new category included in this year’s edition for the first time ever. Chomsky’s research opened up new paths in multiple fields of humanities, especially in the study of the human mind and the cognitive systems that comprise it.
09 Apr 2019
The BBVA Foundation has recognized composer John Adams with the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Music and Opera category. The jury’s citation underscores Adam’s tremendous communication skills and his determination to engage with the public. Although the North-American maestro’s works span every genre, it is in opera that he has come fully into his own.
27 Mar 2019
The BBVA Foundation recognized Claudia Goldin with the Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Economics, Finance and Management category for her contributions to the historical analysis of women’s role in the economy. The Harvard Professor’s research helped to shed light on the factors behind the gender gap. The award committee underscored her role as the founder of the field of empirical analysis of the gender gap, and a pioneer in her methods.
05 Mar 2019
The BBVA Foundation presented physicists Charles Kane and Eugene Mele the Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Basic Sciences category for discovering materials that act as both insulators and conductors at the same time. The so-called topological insulators are a new kind of material with extraordinary electronic properties that will open new scientific avenues. They could serve to develop faster, more efficient electronic devices and even advance the advent of quantum computers.
01 Mar 2019
The BBVA Foundation will present its most prestigious awards in Bilbao on June 18th. The eight category winners will be honored at the 11th Frontiers of Knowledge Awards ceremony, which will be hosted at the Euskalduna Palace. “Linking the Frontiers of Knowledge Awards to Bilbao, the city and its institutions become the hosts of an event that celebrates knowledge with world leading figures in different fields of science, technology and the arts,” said BBVA Foundation President Carlos Torres Vila.
19 Feb 2019
The BBVA Foundation has recognized the computer engineer Ivan Sutherland with the Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the category of Information and Communication Technologies. Over the course of his 60-year career, the American computer scientist has led the transition from text-based to graphical computer displays. He pioneered the use of graphical icons and virtual reality, and anyone who uses a computer or smartphone today benefits from the output of his research.
06 Feb 2019
Gretchen Daily and Georgina Mace have been recognized with the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the category of Ecology and Conservation Biology for their visionary work combating the loss of species. They have developed tools that are invaluable for quantifying “nature’s value” thus facilitating science-based policies in support of the conservation of species. The jury panel commended not only their efforts in identifying the problem, but also their involvement in finding solutions.
29 Jan 2019
The BBVA Foundation has recognized the American researcher with the Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the category of Biology and Biomedicine, for his pioneer findings in demonstrating the importance of the gut microbiome. Their discoveries have allowed to demonstrate that gut microbes play a central role in conditions like obesity and diabetes.
09 Jan 2019
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Climate Change category has gone in this eleventh edition to Anny Cazenave (France), John Church (Australia) and Jonathan Gregory (UK), for their research into the response of sea level to climate change. Narrowing down the causes, integrating satellite observations and innovations applied in numerical modeling have contributed to discovering that the pace at which this rise is taking place is increasing.
08 Oct 2018
The Royal Swedish Academy of Science has awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 2018 to U.S. Scientists William D. Nordhaus and Paul M. Romer in Economic Sciences. Nordhaus, who earlier this year won the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Climate Change, has developed the first model capable of integrating economic and environmental data to identify the most efficient policies against global warming. Romer has pioneered the use of technology in macroeconomic research.
14 Mar 2018
Stephen Hawking, the famous British physicist and one of the world’s most brilliant scientific minds died at 76, as confirmed by a statement made by his family. The genius of astrophysics suffered from ALS, a degenerative disease, from the time he was 21 years old, thus exceeding life expectancy predictions. Since 2005 he was only able to communicate by means of a speech synthesizer.
27 Feb 2018
The BBVA Foundation has granted Colombian epidemiologist Nubia Muñoz its Frontiers of Knowledge award in Development Cooperation, for her work in establishing that infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is the principal cause of cervical cancer, one of the leading causes of death among women in developing countries. Muñoz has also been instrumental in the development of the first effective vaccine against this virus, capable of preventing 70% of all cervical cancers.
20 Feb 2018
Timothy Bresnahan, Ariel Pakes and Robert Porter study the impact of businesses in the market. To measure this ability that firms have to control prices in a given industry, the three Frontiers of Knowledge laureates in Economics have developed methods that have had a significant and lasting impact on empirical research in the industrial organization field, as well as in other applied fields like health or environmental economics.
14 Feb 2018
Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho has been recognized with the BBVA Foundation’s Frontiers of Knowledge Award for “a contribution to contemporary music that is extraordinary in its individuality, breadth and scope,” as she has managed to seamlessly interweave the worlds of acoustic music and technology.
06 Feb 2018
Rosemary and Peter Grant have devoted 40 years of their lives to studying the finches of the Galapagos Archipelago, the birds that inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution. The couple´s work has allowed them to prove that evolution can take place at a much faster pace than previously believed; in less than a decade, the beaks and bodies of these birds can transform to adapt to environmental changes.
30 Jan 2018
U.S. researcher James P. Allison has won the BBVA Foundation’s Frontiers of Knowledge award for developing the first highly effective immunotherapy treatment against cancer. Allison´s work has enabled the development of a new class of drugs that employ the immune system to fight cancer, and which have already provided clinical benefits to thousands of patients.
16 Jan 2018
The BBVA Foundation´s Frontiers of Knowledge Award was won by four mathematicians – Shafi Goldwasser, Silvio Micali, Ronald Rivest and Adi Shamir – for their outstanding contributions to cryptology, a science that has proven crucial to ensuring security in the online world.
09 Jan 2018
Economist William Nordhaus received the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Climate Change for developing the first model capable of integrating economic and environmental data to identify the most efficient policies against global warming.
05 Jan 2018
The Frontiers of Knowledge Awards presented by the BBVA Foundation every year to recognize scientists and creators, who with their work, contribute to push the limits of human knowledge, and improve the lives of millions of people.
24 Oct 2017
BBVA Group Executive Chairman Francisco González presided over the first edition of the Spanish Computer Science Society (SCIE) – BBVA Foundation Research Awards. These accolades recognized the work of six young Ph.D. recipients who are conducting high-level research in Spain.
15 Jun 2017
In his speech at the presentation of the 2017 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards, BBVA Group Executive Chairman Francisco González argued that science should be at the heart of culture and decision-making, in order to curb fanaticism and exclusionary ideologies.
BBVA Group Executive Chairman Francisco González handed out the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards, honoring the outstanding work of a number of scientists and their contribution to the advancement of knowledge in recent decades. Awardees are responsible for achievements such as the development of the most accurate genomic editing technique; studies that led to the prevention of millions of malaria deaths; discovering how human action can dramatically affect earth’s ecosystems and statistical tools that allow turning data into knowledge in the era of big data.
08 Mar 2017
“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas”. This is one of the most famous quotes from renowned scientist Marie Curie. IT was, precisely, her interest in the world that led her to become the first woman to ever win a Nobel prize, at a time when women were rarely allowed to pursue University studies, at least in Poland.
28 Feb 2017
The BBVA Foundation is distinguishing, in this ninth edition of the Frontiers of Knowledge Award, in the Development Cooperation category researchers Pedro Alonso and Peter Myler, for their pivotal role in the fight against infectious diseases that affect millions of people throughout the developing world.
21 Feb 2017
The BBVA Foundation has distinguished Turkish economist Daron Acemoglu with its Frontiers of Knowledge award. A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Acemoglu was the first economist to prove that there are institutions that generate prosperity and others that hinder development.
14 Feb 2017
“It was not me who chose music, but music that expressed itself in me.” That is how composer Sofia Gubaidulina describes her relationship with music. Gubaidulina has just been announced as the recipient of BBVA Foundation’s Frontiers of Knowledge Award in contemporary music.
07 Feb 2017
Gene Likens revealed the environmental impact of acid rain. Marten Scheffer has proven that human activity can bring irreversible damage to nature. Both have contributed decisively to understand how ecosystems respond to human-induced alterations of the natural environment, key to better protect our planet. The BBVA Foundation has recognized the work of these two ecologists with the Frontiers of Knowledge Award.
31 Jan 2017
The BBVA Foundation has bestowed its Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Biomedicine category on Emmanuelle Charpentier, Jennifer Doudna and Francisco Martínez Mojica, for igniting “the revolution in biology permitted by CRISPR/Cas 9 techniques.” These tools facilitate genome modification with an unprecedented degree of precision and far more cheaply and straightforwardly than any previous method. Not unlike today’s word processing programs, CRISPR/Cas 9 is able to “cut & paste” several genes at the same time.
30 Jan 2017
Geoffrey Hinton, who just received the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Information and Communications Technologies, teaches machines to think like people. His work at University of Toronto and then Google, has been instrumental in the development of a number of applications, including automatic translation system, personal assistants like Siri, driverless systems or medical diagnosis.
24 Jan 2017
David Cox and Bradley Efron’s work has proven indispensable for medicine, astrophysics, genomics or any field of knowledge that depends on data analysis. The discovery of the Higgs boson or cancer and AIDS research efforts owe a lot to the two mathematicians honored by the BBVA Foundation.
17 Jan 2017
Geoffrey Hinton’s work at University of Toronto is focused on a branch of artificial intelligence called deep learning. His goal is to develop a new breed of computers capable of learning in the same way as the human brain. At Google, where he has also been working for a number of years now, he has been instrumental in the development of a number of applications, including automatic translation system, driverless systems or tumor malignancy classification.
10 Jan 2017
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Climate Change category goes, in this ninth edition, to climatologists Syukuro Manabe and James Hansen, separately responsible for constructing the first computational models with the power to simulate climate behavior. Decades ago, both men correctly predicted how much Earth’s temperature would rise due to increasing atmospheric CO2. The scores of models currently in use to chart climate evolution are “heirs” to those first developed by Manabe and Hansen.
18 Nov 2016
The newspaper Expansión has given prominence to BBVA’s open innovation strategy in the second edition of the awards for the “50 best digital ideas”. The intention of these awards is to recognize the efforts of Spanish companies and institutions to adapt their processes and services to the new digital economy.
21 Jun 2016
The presentation ceremony of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards again transformed Madrid headquarters of the BBVA Foundation, into a window from which to contemplate some of the key ideas, insights and challenges that define the modern age.
19 Jun 2016
One thousand, three hundred billion years ago, in a faraway corner of the Universe, two black holes that had been moving closer since before mammals walked the Earth merged into one. And barely a few months ago, the vibrations in space-time generated by the event reached our planet.
From childhood, Ilkka Hanski was a keen butterfly collector. At the age of eight he found a specimen of a species considered extinct in Finland, and a professor at the University of Helsinki specializing in that species sent him one of his scientific papers.
Optogenetics is a technique whereby light serves to control the behavior of a live animal. The scene might go something like this: the laboratory rat sits peacefully in its box, but with a fiber optic cable emerging from its head. A light comes on and the animal starts to run; the light goes off, and it stops.
Georges Aperghis was born in Athens into a family of artists in 1945, and has lived in Paris since settling there in 1963. His work is characterized by the drive to interrogate language, dissecting its meaning and its evolution, and by the merging of music and theater.
If a person’s tweets reflect their interests, there can be little doubt as to what makes Martin Ravallion tick. His account directs followers to articles on the exodus of Syria’s refugees; the importance of the world’s poorest having access to information; campaigns to tackle child malnutrition. Ravallion, an economist, is aware that his vision of economic science “is not shared by the majority.” And he quotes historian Max Hartwell: “Economics is, in essence, the study of poverty.”
In his youth, Robert Butler Wilson (Geneva, Nebraska, United States, 1937) was strongly drawn to basic science. With the help of a grant, he was able to fulfill his dream of studying mathematics at Harvard University, where he graduated in 1959. However, his fortuitous attendance at an economic theory course convinced him to switch to the social sciences.
Indian climatologist Veerabhadran Ramanathan decided to study climate change when he realized the full extent of how human activity was altering the composition of our air. It was in the mid-1970s and he had just discovered that carbon dioxide is not the only atmospheric greenhouse gas: there are others called “trace” gases less abundant than CO2 but capable of trapping a thousand times more heat, and their atmospheric concentration is likewise on the rise.
The most celebrated problem in computer science, with a price on its head of one million dollars, was originally just another mathematical puzzle. Attractive and intriguing without doubt, but at bottom unpretentious. Not even its discoverer, U.S. mathematician Stephen Cook, was aware at the start of its full ramifications.
“Ideas about cosmology have greatly changed in the last 60 years. At the beginning of this century it was accepted without question that the Universe was essentially uniform and static. […] Most people preferred to believe that the Universe had existed forever, because this avoided awkward questions about the initial data and about what happened before the beginning.”
21 May 2016
British physicist Stephen Hawking received the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award for his work on galaxy formation. On the occasion of BBVA’s executive chairman visit to Cambridge to hand him the award, Hawking remarked that this was the first recognition bestowed on him for his work on galaxy formation and stated his optimism regarding the future of mankind.
06 Apr 2016
A concept under constant discussion in the corporate world, innovation remains unfinished business for many companies. Despite investing enormous amounts of time and money, innovation frequently fails, making it a frustrating pursuit for many companies. It is no easy task and even less so if innovation is not integrated in the company’s over-arching strategy.
23 Feb 2016
Australian economist Martin Ravallion has been distinguished with the BBVA Foundation’s Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Development Cooperation for revolutionizing the fight against poverty by creating reliable indicators to measure it. In 1991 he established at one dollar a day the minimum amount that a person needs to survive, which helped establish for the first time specific goals to eliminate extreme poverty globally. After the latest update, the international poverty line is set at US$1.90 a day.
16 Feb 2016
US mathematician Robert Wilson, honored with BBVA Foundation’s Frontiers of Knowledge Award for “his pioneering contributions to the analysis of strategic interactions when economic agents have limited and imperfect information about their environment.”