Professor Marcia Barbosa, Laureate for Latin America
Water can behave in unusual and unexpected ways. Since it covers nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s surface and makes up over half of the human body, pinpointing exactly how water acts, and why, when it does the unexpected is key to advancing knowledge in nearly every field of science. Professor Marcia Barbosa’s years of research into the anomalous behavior of water could have an enormous impact on our understanding of a host of natural phenomena, ranging from earthquakes to human proteins.
Professor Pratibha L. Gai, Laureate for Europe
Some of the most groundbreaking achievements in the annals of science have been made by people who invented ways to see what cannot be seen with the naked eye. Pratibha Gai, a professor at the University of York (UK), is among the relatively few scientists in history who can lay claim to such a key advancement. Her truly ingenious modifications to electron microscopes enable us to actually see chemical processes at the atomic level that were once completely mysterious. Her fundamental research promises a plethora of potential applications for an immense range of scientific, technological and economic solutions.
Professor Deborah S. Jin, Laureate for North America
Professor Deborah Jin and her team invented an ingenious method of cooling molecules down to near absolute zero, the lowest possible temperature – which has the effect of slowing them down. In fact, they slow down enough for researchers to actually see what goes on during chemical reactions. The study of ultra-cold molecules could lead to new precision-measurement tools, new methods for quantum computing and help us better understand materials that are essential to technology.
Professor Francisca Okeke, Laureate for Africa and the Arab States
High above the Earth’s surface - between 50km to 1,000km - is the ionosphere, the subject of Professor Francisca Okeke’s lifetime of study. A very thick layer of charged particles, the ionosphere produces changes in the magnetic field on Earth’s surface that affect the planet in a host of ways. Her research could lead to a better understanding of climate change and help pinpoint sources of dramatic phenomena like tsunamis and earthquakes.