Paris-based UNESCO has awarded the first medals"for contributions to the development of nanoscience and nanotechnologies"to Russian Academician Zhores Ivanovich Alferov and Chinese chemistry professor Bai Chunli, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said Wednesday.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, handed the medals on Tuesday night to Alferov, Russian winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physics, and Bai's representative Shi Shuyun, Chinese Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO.
Bai is a professor of chemistry at the Laboratory of Molecular Nanostructure and Nanotechnology in Beijing and executive vice- president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
"This award is recognition of the tremendous benefits of progress in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnologies on our societies, our economies and on all of us,"Bokova said at the awarding ceremony.
According to Eleonora Mitrofanova, chairperson of UNESCO's Executive Board, Professor Bai is the inventor of sophisticated nano-research tools including the ultra-high-vacuum scanning tunneling microscope and Professor Alferov developed the "ideal" semiconductor infrastructure that forms the basis of all microelectronic devices used today.
The medal was initiated by the International Commission responsible for developing the nanoscience and nanotechnologies theme for the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), one of the world's biggest web-based archives published jointly by UNESCO and EOLSS Publishers.