Skip to main content

2014 Nobel Prize Winners Include <em>Science</em> Authors and Two AAAS Fellows

With the announcement of the 2014 Nobel Prizes, AAAS counts two more Nobel laureates among its members and Fellows. Several winners have also published key papers in Science, which has made these articles and related news coverage free to the public at its website.

On Monday this week, AAAS Fellow Edvard Moser and his research collaborator and wife, May-Britt Moser, were awarded jointly the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of cells that constitute an "inner GPS" in the brain. Their work builds on earlier discoveries by John O'Keefe, a British-American scientist, who will share the $1.1 million prize with the Mosers.

Thumbnail
News, October 9, 2014 Nobel Prize Moser Wife Half
Edvard and May-Britt Moser | Flickr/ntnu-trondheim

According to a Nobel Prize press release, "The discoveries of John O´Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser have solved a problem that has occupied philosophers and scientists for centuries — how does the brain create a map of the space surrounding us and how can we navigate our way through a complex environment?"

Moser was named a AAAS Fellow in 2010 and published important papers in Science with May-Britt Moser and colleagues in 2004 and 2006. He served on Science's board of reviewing editors for 10 years and is the director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience in Trondheim, Norway. May-Britt Moser is the director of the Centre for Neural Computation, also in Trondheim, and O'Keefe is the director of the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre in Neural Circuits and Behaviour at University College London.

The Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded Tuesday, recognized three researchers for their invention of a new energy-efficient and environment-friendly light source, the blue light-emitting diode (LED). Until the 1990s, LEDs were only available in red and green; the invention of a blue-light LED then made it possible to create white light for all-purpose lighting. One of the winners, Shuji Nakamura, now at the University of California, Santa Barbara, published a review article in Science in 1998, describing the role of structural imperfections in blue-light LEDs. Nakamura shares the prize with Isamu Akasaki of Meijo University and Nagoya University in Nagoya, Japan, and Hiroshi Amano of Nagoya University.

On Wednesday, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to AAAS Fellow William E. Moerner of Stanford University, Eric Betzig of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Stefan W. Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. They were recognized for their research on optical microscopy that made it possible to see objects at nanometer scales.

Thumbnail
News, October 9, 2014 Nobel Prize Moerner, Half
William Moerner | Stanford News Service

"Being able to reach a nanometer resolution with visible light meant that biological molecules could be observed while still alive, not under the harsh conditions necessary for an electron microscope," Daniel Clery explains at ScienceInsider.

Working separately, Moerner and Betzig each laid the foundation for single-molecular microscopy, which relies on turning the fluorescence of individual molecules on and off. The researchers published important findings in Science in 1994 and 1993, respectively. Moerner became a AAAS Fellow in 2003.

[Added 14 October] Jean Tirole, who was awarded the prize in economic sciences for his analysis of market power and regulation, has also written about some of his key ideas in Science. His Policy Forum, co-authored with Josh Lerner earlier this year, discussed standard-setting regulations in technology industries.