Yesterday, my dad was presented with the Spinoza prize, the highest scientific award in the Netherlands (and apparently nicknamed the Dutch Nobel Prize). Up to four people are awarded it each year, and it carries 2,5 million euros in prize money, to be spent on anything scientific, pretty much. (It’s usually spent on research or instruments, but my dad told me about a fellow astronomer who had once spent it on a portable planetarium he then took to schools. I immediately hinted that I could use some funding for my research, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.)
The other three awardees this year were a mathematician, an anthropologist, and a microbiologist. Here they are, don’t they look like proud but serious academics here?
After the announcement, they came out onto stage and each got to present five minutes on their research. My dad held a nice little speech, talking about molecules (apparently that’s what he works with. I did not inherit his aptitude for science so I wouldn’t know) and also how he hadn’t realized how big a deal this was until we emailed him back, saying we’d googeled the prize and were very proud of him. Glad we could have been of service, dad.
All I can say is that I am one proud daughter.