It may not be a Nobel Prize, but the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters will announce the first ever science prize for outstanding achievement in nanosciences in May.

You’ll remember that there was some prior speculation as to a Nobel Prize in nanotechnology, and that it was to be announced at NanoTX’07.  But due to other issues, the announcement never came.  Now, the first recipients of the Kavli Prize, comprising three awards, one each in the field of nanoscience, neuroscience, and astrophysics, will be announced on May 28.  Each award comes with a $1 million prize, similar to the prize money awarded for Nobel recipients.

The nanoscience award will recognize "outstanding achievement in the science and application of the unique physical, chemical, and biological properties of atomic, molecular, macromolecular, and cellular structures and systems that are manifest in the nanometer scale," including "molecular self-assembly, nanomaterials, nanoscale instrumentation, nanobiotechnology, macromolecular synthesis, molecular mechanics, and related topics."

As with the earlier speculation over a Nobel Prize in nanotechnology, it is exciting to see the international recognition nanoscience researchers will receive from the upcoming Kavli Prize.  High visibility awards such as these will encourage continued research and development with regards to nanotechnology while providing positive press to the science and the community as a whole.  I look forward to seeing who the recipients are.