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The Crafoord Prize
Awarded for in astronomy and mathematics, biosciences, geosciences or polyarthritis research, awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Presented by Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Country Sweden
First awarded 1982 (1982)

The Crafoord Prize is an annual science prize established in 1980 by Holger and Anna-Greta Crafoord. It is administered by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The prize is for "international basic research in the disciplines Astronomy, Mathematics, Geosciences, and Biosciences, with particular emphasis on ecology, and rheumatoid arthritis" (the disease from which Holger severely suffered in his last years). According to the Academy, "these disciplines are chosen so as to complement those for which the Nobel Prizes are awarded."

Only one award is given each year, according to a rotating scheme – astronomy and mathematics; then geosciences; then biosciences. A Crafoord Prize is only awarded for arthritis when a committee decides that substantial progress in the field has been made. On Crafoord Day in April, the prize is presented by the King of Sweden, who also presents the Nobel Prize Awards at the ceremony in December. The prize is to fund further research by the prize winner.


Year Category Image Laureate Nationality Work
1982 Mathematics Vladimir Arnold-1.jpg Vladimir Arnold  Soviet Union Theory of non-linear differential equations
 Louis Nirenberg Louis Nirenberg  United States
1983 Geosciences Edward Lorenz  United States Geophysical hydrodynamics
Henry Stommel  United States
1984 Biosciences Daniel Janzen  United States Co-evolution
1985 Astronomy Lyman Spitzer  United States Studies of the interstellar medium
1986 Geosciences Claude Allègre  France Isotope geochemical relations
Gerald J. Wasserburg  United States
1987 Biosciences Eugene P. Odum  United States Ecosystem ecology
Howard T. Odum  United States
1988 Mathematics  Pierre Deligne, seated, facing left and away from the camera Pierre Deligne  Belgium
 United States
Algebraic geometry
Alexander Grothendieck.jpg Alexander Grothendieck None
1989 Geosciences  James Van Allen James Van Allen  United States Exploration of space, the discovery the Van Allen belts
1990 Biosciences  Paul R. Ehrlich Paul R. Ehrlich  United States Dynamics and genetics of fragmented populations
 Edward Osborne Wilson E.O. Wilson  United States Theory of island biogeography
1991 Astronomy Allan Rex Sandage  United States Study of galaxies
1992 Geosciences Adolf Seilacher  Germany Research into evolution of life
1993 Biosciences W.D. Hamilton  United Kingdom Theories of kin selection and genetic relationship
 Seymour Benzer in his office at Caltech in 1974 with a big model of Drosophila Seymour Benzer  United States Genetical and neurophysiological studies of fruit flies
1994 Mathematics Simon Donaldson  United Kingdom Four-dimensional geometry
 Shing-Tung Yau Shing-Tung Yau  United States Non-linear techniques in differential geometry
1995 Geosciences Willi Dansgaard  Denmark Development of isotope geological analysis methods
 Nicholas Shackleton Nicholas Shackleton  United Kingdom
1996 Biosciences  Robert May Robert M. May  Australia Ecological research
1997 Astronomy Fred Hoyle  United Kingdom Study of nuclear processes in stars, stellar evolution
Edwin Salpeter  United States
1998 Geosciences Don L. Anderson  United States Study of the structures and processes in the interior of the Earth
Adam M. Dziewonski  United States
1999 Biosciences  Ernst Mayr in 1994, after receiving an honorary degree at the University of Konstanz Ernst Mayr  United States Developing the concept of evolutionary biology
John Maynard Smith  United Kingdom
George C. Williams  United States
2000 Polyarthritis Marc Feldmann  United Kingdom Definition of TNF-alpha
Ravinder N. Maini  United Kingdom
2001 Mathematics  Alain Connes Alain Connes  France Theory of operator algebras, founder of the non-commutative geometry
2002 Geosciences Dan P. McKenzie  United Kingdom Dynamics of the lithosphere
2003 Biosciences Carl Woese  United States Third domain of life
2004 Polyarthritis Eugene C. Butcher  United States Study of molecular mechanisms concerning white blood cells
Timothy A. Springer  United States
2005 Astronomy James E. Gunn  United States Understanding the large-scale structure of the Universe
James Peebles  United States
 Martin Rees delivering a lecture at Jodrell Bank Martin Rees  United Kingdom
2006 Geosciences Wallace S. Broecker  United States Research into the global carbon cycle
2007 Biosciences Robert Trivers  United States Analysis of social evolution
2008 Astronomy Rashid Sunyaev Rashid Alievich Sunyaev  Russia Contributions to high-energy astrophysics and cosmology
Mathematics  Maxim Kontsevich Maxim Kontsevich  Russia Contributions to mathematics from modern theoretical physics
 Edward Witten writing on a blackboard Edward Witten  United States
2009 Polyarthritis  Charles Dinarello Charles Dinarello  United States Isolation of interleukins, understanding their role in the onset of inflammatory diseases
 Tadamitsu Kishimoto Tadamitsu Kishimoto  Japan
 Toshio Hirano Toshio Hirano  Japan
2010 Geosciences  Walter Munk Walter Munk  United States “for his pioneering and fundamental contributions to our understanding of ocean circulation, tides and waves, and their role in the Earth’s dynamics”.
2011 Biosciences  Ilkka Hanski Ilkka Hanski  Finland “for his pioneering studies on how spatial variation affects the dynamics of animal and plant populations”.
2012 Astronomy Reinhard Genzel  Germany "for their observations of the stars orbiting the galactic centre, indicating the presence of a supermassive black hole".
Andrea M. Ghez  United States
Mathematics Jean Bourgain  Belgium “for their brilliant and groundbreaking work in harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, ergodic theory, number theory, combinatorics, functional analysis and theoretical computer science".
Terence Tao Terence Tao  Australia
 United States
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