The Pursuit of Excellence
Originality, innovation and influence were the criteria that the Foundation Board of Trustees set from the very beginning. In particular, the latter criterion required candidates for the Swiss Science Prize Marcel Benoist to be known and respected in the international scientific community. For this reason all candidates are vetted by experts from both the national and international scientific community.
In accordance with the founder’s wishes, the exacting selection procedure requires the research to be of significance for human life and so for society as a whole. It therefore has to meet the following criteria, which have been developed over the years:
- The research is based on an original and innovative idea,
- it points to ways of verifying this idea,
- it involves clear steps towards verifying the idea,
- it provides inspiration to young researchers to pursue the idea.
Multidisciplinary – the Swiss Science Prize Marcel Benoist is awarded to Swiss researchers or those resident in Switzerland from any discipline.
The following graphic shows in which subjects the prize was awarded between 1920 and 2015:
The typical laureate
Renowned – the prize is awarded to successful researchers whose work promises to lead to further achievements.
The ‘typical’ winner of the Swiss Science Prize Marcel Benoist is an internationally renowned scientist of Swiss or foreign extraction resident in Switzerland whose work is marked by excellence, originality, innovation and impact. The prize is awarded to researchers who already have a well-established reputation and whose work shows further potential.
It is therefore neither an award to encourage young researchers (such as the Latsis Prize) nor a prize in recognition of someone’s life’s work (as is the Nobel Prize). The Benoist Prize is awarded in recognition of work that has made a considerable contribution to science and that promises to lead to further achievements.