Crafoord Prize

The Crafoord Prize is an annual science prize established in 1980 by Holger and Anna-Greta Crafoord. It is administered by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The prize is for "international basic research in the disciplines Astronomy, Mathematics, Geosciences, and Biosciences, with particular emphasis on ecology, and rheumatoid arthritis" (the disease from which Holger severely suffered in his last years). According to the Academy, "these disciplines are chosen so as to complement those for which the Nobel Prizes are awarded."[1]

Only one award is given each year, according to a rotating scheme – astronomy and mathematics; then geosciences; then biosciences.[1] A Crafoord Prize is only awarded for arthritis when a committee decides that substantial progress in the field has been made.[1] On Crafoord Day in April, the prize is presented by the King of Sweden, who also presents the Nobel Prize Awards at the ceremony in December.[1][2] The prize is to fund further research by the prize winner. In 2012 it is US$600,000.


Year Category Image Laureate Nationality Work[3]
1982 Mathematics 50px Vladimir Arnold 23x15px Soviet Union Theory of non-linear differential equations
50px Louis Nirenberg 23x15px United States[A]
1983 Geosciences Edward Lorenz 23x15px United States Geophysical hydrodynamics
Henry Stommel 23x15px United States
1984 Biosciences Daniel Janzen 23x15px United States Co-evolution
1985 Astronomy Lyman Spitzer 23x15px United States Studies of the interstellar medium
1986 Geosciences Claude Allègre 23x15px France Isotope geochemical relations
Gerald J. Wasserburg 23x15px United States
1987 Biosciences Eugene P. Odum 23x15px United States Ecosystem ecology
Howard T. Odum 23x15px United States
1988 Mathematics 50px Pierre Deligne 23x15px Belgium
23x15px United States
Algebraic geometry
50px Alexander Grothendieck[B] None
1989 Geosciences 50px James Van Allen 23x15px United States Exploration of space, the discovery the Van Allen belts
1990 Biosciences 50px Paul R. Ehrlich 23x15px United States Dynamics and genetics of fragmented populations
50px E.O. Wilson 23x15px United States Theory of island biogeography
1991 Astronomy Allan Rex Sandage 23x15px United States Study of galaxies
1992 Geosciences Adolf Seilacher 23x15px Germany Research into evolution of life
1993 Biosciences W.D. Hamilton 23x15px United Kingdom Theories of kin selection and genetic relationship
50px Seymour Benzer 23x15px United States Genetical and neurophysiological studies of fruit flies
1994 Mathematics Simon Donaldson 23x15px United Kingdom Four-dimensional geometry
50px Shing-Tung Yau 23x15px United States[C] Non-linear techniques in differential geometry
1995 Geosciences Willi Dansgaard 23x15px Denmark Development of isotope geological analysis methods
Nicholas Shackleton 23x15px United Kingdom
1996 Biosciences 50px Robert M. May 23x15px Australia Ecological research
1997 Astronomy Fred Hoyle 23x15px United Kingdom Study of nuclear processes in stars, stellar evolution
Edwin Salpeter 23x15px United States
1998 Geosciences Don L. Anderson 23x15px United States Study of the structures and processes in the interior of the Earth
Adam M. Dziewonski 23x15px United States[D]
1999 Biosciences 50px Ernst Mayr 23x15px United States Developing the concept of evolutionary biology
John Maynard Smith 23x15px United Kingdom
George C. Williams 23x15px United States
2000 Polyarthritis Marc Feldmann 23x15px United Kingdom Definition of TNF-alpha
Ravinder N. Maini 23x15px United Kingdom
2001 Mathematics 50px Alain Connes 23x15px France Theory of operator algebras, founder of the non-commutative geometry
2002 Geosciences Dan P. McKenzie 23x15px United Kingdom Dynamics of the lithosphere
2003 Biosciences Carl Woese 23x15px United States Third domain of life
2004 Polyarthritis Eugene C. Butcher 23x15px United States Study of molecular mechanisms concerning white blood cells
Timothy A. Springer 23x15px United States
2005 Astronomy James E. Gunn 23x15px United States Understanding the large-scale structure of the Universe
James Peebles 23x15px United States
50px Martin Rees 23x15px United Kingdom
2006 Geosciences Wallace S. Broecker 23x15px United States Research into the global carbon cycle
2007 Biosciences Robert Trivers 23x15px United States Analysis of social evolution
2008 Astronomy 50px Rashid Alievich Sunyaev 23x15px Russia Contributions to high-energy astrophysics and cosmology
Mathematics 50px Maxim Kontsevich 23x15px Russia[E] Contributions to mathematics from modern theoretical physics
50px Edward Witten 23x15px United States
2009 Polyarthritis 50px Charles Dinarello 23x15px United States Isolation of interleukins, understanding their role in the onset of inflammatory diseases
50px Tadamitsu Kishimoto 23x15px Japan
50px Toshio Hirano 23x15px Japan
2010 Geosciences 50px Walter Munk 23x15px United States “for his pioneering and fundamental contributions to our understanding of ocean circulation, tides and waves, and their role in the Earth’s dynamics”.
2011 Biosciences 50px Ilkka Hanski 23x15px Finland “for his pioneering studies on how spatial variation affects the dynamics of animal and plant populations”.
2012 Astronomy Reinhard Genzel 23x15px Germany "for their observations of the stars orbiting the galactic centre, indicating the presence of a supermassive black hole".
Andrea M. Ghez 23x15px United States
Mathematics Jean Bourgain 23x15px Belgium “for their brilliant and groundbreaking work in harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, ergodic theory, number theory, combinatorics, functional analysis and theoretical computer science".
50px Terence Tao 23x15px Australia
23x15px United States


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "About the prize". The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  2. "King of Sweden awards Crafoord Prize to IC researchers". Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine. 4 October 2000. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
  3. "The Crafoord Prize 1982–2009" (PDF). The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 4 July 2009.[dead link]