Professor Vincenzo Balzani (Italy) and Professor Yuri Oganessian (Russian Federation) will be awarded the first UNESCO-Russia Mendeleev International Prize in the Basic Sciences. The decision was made on the recommendation of an eminent international jury chaired by Professor Jean-Pierre Sauvage, winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Vincenzo Balzani (Italy)
Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of Bologna.
Recognized for the lasting impact of his outstanding scientific achievements in basic chemical sciences and his career-long efforts to promote international cooperation, science education and sustainable development.
Professor Balzani pioneered inorganic photochemistry and supramolecular photochemistry. He has also made great contributions to science education and to reflection on science as a driver to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and on the relationship between science and society, science and peace.
Yuri Oganessian (Russian Federation)
Professor, Scientific Director.
Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna.
Recognized for his breakthrough discoveries that extend the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements and for his promotion of the basic sciences at global scale.
Professor Oganessian’s work played a leading role in the synthesis and study of new chemical elements of the periodic table. He has driven major developments in international scientific cooperation that led, inter alia, to the discovery of superheavy elements like the one with atomic number 118 named after him as Oganesson.
The laureates will receive the Prize at a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris on 15 November, during the 41st session of the Organization’s General Conference.