The annual Japan Prize, which honors researchers whose work "has contributed to the peace and prosperity of mankind," this year goes to laureates in the Materials and Production field as well as in the Biological Productinoa nd Biological Environment field. $500K is awarded for each field and winners also receive gold medals and certificates in the presence of Japan's Emperor.
The fields recognized change from year to year, and next year "Electronics, Information, Communication" will be one of the two categories, with the other being Life Science.
The last IT pioneers recognized were Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson, for the development of the UNIX operating system, in 2011.
The 2013 (29th) Japan Prize laureates are as follows:-- Materials and Production field:-- Biological Production and Biological Environment field:
C. Grant Willson, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering,
The University of Texas at Austin
Jean M.J. Frechet, Ph.D., Vice-President for Research, King Abdullah
University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia
John Frederick Grassle, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Rutgers,
The State University of New Jersey
(Photo of award courtesy of The Japan Prize Foundation)