The 18th(2002) Award

Award Ceremony
Opening Address
Report on the Process of Selection
Address by His Majesty the Emperor
Congratulatory Address
(Prime Minister)
Congratulatory Address
(Minister of Education)
Acceptance Address
(Professor Masatoshi Nei)
Awards the 2002 International Prize for Biology
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Opening Address

Dr. Saburo Nagakura, Chairman, Committee on the International Prize for Biology

It is a great honor to be able to convene this presentation ceremony of the 2002 International Prize for Biology in the presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress and with the attendance of many eminent persons and distinguished guests from both Japan and abroad.

The International Prize for Biology was established in 1985 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the reign of the Emperor Showa and to commemorate his long-held interest in scientific research in the field of biology. Since its inception, the purpose of this prize has been to recognize and to promote important advances in the study of biology.

This year marks the 18th award presentation. Having come thus far, I wish to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all who are gathered here and to the many others whose valuable cooperation and support have made it possible to sustain this effort over so many years.

Dr. Masatoshi Nei, the winner of this yearfs Prize, developed statistical methods, and by applying them to molecular-level data, he devised a theoretical basis for explaining many experimental observations that had previous defied interpretation. Among them are the evolutional relationship among diverse species, the times of species divergence from common ancestors, and the location of gene regions in which natural selection operates. These achievements laid the theoretical foundation of the current field of molecular evolutionary biology, and have been of enormous contribution to scientific progress in biology.

Dr. Nei is most highly deserving of this prize. On behalf of the Committee, I would like to both congratulate him and extend him our deepest esteem for his most valuable work as a scientist and a researcher.

At this time, I would like to thank the members of the Selection Committee who bore the weighty responsibility of making this nomination. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the members of the universities, research centers, academic associations and other organizations, both in Japan and abroad, who have favored us with their recommendations of candidates for this year's prize.

As I explained at the beginning, having been awarded eighteen times now the International Prize for Biology has earned a degree of acclaim suitable to commemorating Emperor Showafs long devotion to biological research. The Committee on the International Prize for Biology has committed itself to making every effort to sustain the stature of this international Prize.

In closing, may I ask you for your continued encouragement and support for the work of the Prize Committee.