Demidov Prize awarded to Alexey Rozanov

News, 10 February 2023

On 10 February, an awarding ceremony of the Demidov Prize, one of the most prestigious Russian awards for scientists, took place in the residence of the Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region. It is a non-governmental prize awarded to Russian scientists moving fundamental science forward. One of the winners of the Demidov Prize 2022 in the category “Biology” was Academician Alexey Rozanov, Head of the Astrobiology Sector of the Laboratory of Radiation Biology JINR, Head of two laboratories of the Borissiak Paleontological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, for his significant contribution to the development of paleontology.

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Executive Director of the Demidov Scientific Fund Valeriy Charushin read out a congratulatory message from the Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region Yevgeny Kuyvashev. “Over three decades, one hundred scientists have received the award, the best of the best in all major fields of knowledge. The four current laureates have become a worthy addition to this list,” he concluded. “All these scientists are an example of commitment to their work.”

In his response, Alexey Rozanov expressed gratitude to organizers and patrons of the award. “I am grateful to all those people who are involved in holding and supporting the Demidov Prize. From my point of view, this is the most outstanding scientific prize in our country, a reliable indicator of profound scientific knowledge of those to whom it is awarded,” he said.

Academician Sergey Rozhnov, Head of the Laboratory of Higher Invertebrates of the Paleontological Institute of RAS, presented to the public numerous outstanding achievements of the laureate. Among them, Alexey Rozanov has created a new direction in paleontology and developed astrobiology, a field of knowledge, in which the sector headed by the LRB JINR scientist is engaged.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Demidov Scientific Foundation, Academician Gennady Mesyats announced the winners. Academician Vladimir Degtyar received the award in the category “Mechanical Engineering” for his significant contribution to the creation of a new generation of rocket technology. Academician Mikhail Kirpichnikov was awarded in the category “Bioengineering” for his substantial contribution to the development of bioengineering. Academician Alexander Konovalov became a laureate in the category “Medicine” for his great contribution to the development of neurosurgery and clinical physiology of the nervous system.

Gennady Mesyats and Acting Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region Alexey Shmykov presented the awards to the scientists. In his welcoming speech, Alexey Shmykov highlighted that 2022 was an anniversary year for the award: the tradition of honouring outstanding Russian scientists was revived in the Urals thirty years ago. During this time, 104 scientists representing 15 research centres have become laureates of the award. “I am glad to have the opportunity to thank everyone who ensures the development of Russian science, provides energy to key transformations in the economy and life in general. Dear laureates, I sincerely congratulate you on the merited awards, I wish you good health, high spirit, prosperity, and new scientific achievements,” the Acting Head of the region said.

RAS Academicians, representatives of the government of the Sverdlovsk Region, and entrepreneurs of the Board of Trustees of the Demidov Scientific Foundation took part in the awarding ceremony.

Earlier, in 2019, Scientific Leader of the Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions JINR Academician Yuri Oganessian was awarded the Demidov Prize.

About the Prize

The Demidov Prize was established in 1831 by Ural industrialist Pavel Demidov. Dmitry Mendeleev became one of the laureates of the first Prize in 1832. In different years, the winners of the Demidov Prize were Ivan Kruzenshtern, Nikolay Pirogov, and Ivan Sechenov. Until 1866, the Prize was annually awarded on 17 April, on the birthday of Emperor Alexander II. It was considered the most prestigious non-governmental award in Russia.

On the initiative of the Ural branch of RAS and local entrepreneurs, the tradition was revived in Yekaterinburg in 1993. National non-governmental Demidov Prizes are awarded for personal significant contribution to several fields, namely earth sciences, physics and mathematics, economics and entrepreneurship, humanities.

Laureates are selected by a survey among specialists in each field. Five commissions and the committee on prizes, which includes the most prominent scientists of Russia, make the final decision. Funds for the payment of Prizes come from the Demidov Scientific Foundation. Each winner receives a diploma, a gold medal in the unique malachite case-box, and a million rubles (annually corrected).

In different years, the winners of the Demidov Prize were Andrey Gaponov-Grekhov, Nikolay Laverov, Zhores Alferov, Andrey Zaliznyak, Ludwig Faddeev, Gennady Mesyats, Vladimir Fortov, and other outstanding scientists.