Neuroscientist Szilveszter E Vizi received this year’s award for disseminating scientific knowledge to members of the public. The award comes with an asteroid being named after the recipient.
Vizi, the former president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), was recognized and praised for his contributions to science.
According to MTI, the award was established by the Club of Scientific Journalists in 1996 and has been granted annually to recognize scientists for their efforts to popularize science.
The first recipient in 1998 was professor of physics Károly Simonyi, father of Hungarian-born American computer programmer Charles Simonyi. Other past recipients include immunologist Andras Falus, neurobiologist Tamas Freund and ethologist Vilmos Csanyi. Between 1998 and 2010, stars discovered by Hungarians were named after the recipients and since 2010, asteroids.
Academy member László L Kiss told MTI that those who discover stars and asteroids have the right to name them, so whenever a recipient for the award is selected, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is contacted with the request.
The naming of the Vizi asteroid became official on December 19 after the IAU’s publication of newly named asteroids on Monday, Kiss said. It had been discovered by Krisztian Sárneczky, an employee of the MTA’s Konkoly Thege Miklós Astronomical Institute.