World of Heineken 39 - winter 2008/2009 SOME PREVIOUS PRIZE WINNERS HAVE HAD A HUGE IMPACT ON OUR WORLD Throughout its existence, the Heineken Prizes have been awarded for many monumental achievements. One of which came to light 24 years ago. While studying the X-ray of a DNA experiment at 9:05 am on 10 September 1984, British geneticist Sir Alec Jeffreys had a "eureka moment". Ultimately the discovery meant that Jeffreys could unlock the secrets of DNA fingerprinting. Professionals around the globe now commonly use this revolutionary breakthrough in science. The technique, simply described, uses variations in the human genetic code to identify individuals. In recognition of his achievements with DNA fingerprinting, Sir Alec Jeffreys was presented with the $150,000 Dr H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics in 2006. The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences paid tribute to Jeffreys' contribution to science by saying. "The impact of Jeffreys' discovery has been so far-reaching and rapid, that it is virtually impossible to imagine a world without it. His technique - DNA fingerprinting - allows us to answer questions such as: Who is the biological father of a child? And are these bones truly the remains of the last Tsar of Russia?" DNA fingerprinting has also been crucial in allowing experts to prove the innocence of people wrongly convicted for past crimes. DNA fingerprinting can also be applied to non-human species. Wildlife managers across the world now use the technique to assess the genetic health of species in their areas. Sir Alec Jeffreys is just one of an illustrious number of Heineken Prize winners who have contributed fundamental knowledge through their work. Heineken Prize winners have gone on to win Nobel Prizes and many other major distinctions, clearly affirming the prizes' high standards. THE PURPOSE OF THE PRIZES Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, daughter of the late Alfred Heineken and the chairman of the Alfred Heineken Fondsen Foundation, said the main reason for the Prizes' creation was to "encourage scientists in their research." It was an act of homage to his father, Dr Henry Pierre Heineken (1886-1971), that Alfred Heineken (1923-2002), established the Dr H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics in 1964. A multi talented man, Henry Heineken also held a PhD in chemistry. He believed that scientific research was vital for the advancement of industry. His son, Alfred H. Heineken had an equal respect for science and its practitioners. In addition to the Dr. H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics, he established a number of foundations with a view to using them to fund more prizes for scientists. Enough capital had been accumulated by the late 1980s to fund these. Alfred Heineken also had a deep appreciation of the Arts, and discovered many Dutch artists before their work became well known. The Heineken prize foundations have entrusted the nomination and selection of the Heineken Prizes to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Roughly one year in advance of the award ceremony, the Academy invites scientists and institutions from around the world, to nominate candidates for the Heineken Science Prizes. One criterion that must be met is that the candidates should still be active as scientists or scholars and are expected to carry on with their work for at least another ten years. Finally and just as importantly, they must also serve as a source of inspiration to others. An independent jury of members of the Academy, acting in a personal capacity, perform the selection for the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art. Only Dutch artists can qualify. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken said her father, Alfred Heineken, "would fall in love with a work of art. His quest was to discover new artistic talent and support young Dutch artists. That is just what the Prize is designed to do." MEET PROF. JACK SZOSTAK Heineken Heineken MEET PRoFESSCR STANISLAS DEHAENE Heineken Heineken PR®FESS#R THAN ISRAEL Some of the posters above promoting the lectures given by the award winners at Dutch universities. 23

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World of Heineken | 2008 | | pagina 25