Gala, lectures mark Kyoto Prize Symposium

The Kyoto Prize Symposium, which features the latest recipients of Japan's highest private award for global achievement, gets under way in San Diego today with a gala.

The Inamori Foundation and Kyoto Symposium Organization will open the three-day event with The Kyoto Prize: Celebrating Outstanding Lifetime Achievement'' gala at 5:30 p.m. at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina.

Presentations by each Kyoto Prize laureate will follow over the next two days at UC San Diego, San Diego State University and the University of San Diego.

The recipients of the 25th Kyoto Prize are:

— Peter and Rosemary Grant, evolutionary biologists and professors at Princeton University;

— Isamu Akasaki, a semiconductor scientist and professor at Nagoya University and Meijo University in Japan;

— Pierre Boulez, a world-renowned composer and conductor, and honorary director of the Institute for Research and Coordination Acoustic/Music.

The Grants, world-renowned evolutionary biologists, will speak at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday at UCSD. Both professors emeriti of Princeton University, they received the 2009 Kyoto Prize in "Basic Sciences" for documenting rapid evolution caused by natural selection in response to environmental change.

Based on nearly 40 years of field study on the Galápagos Islands, the couple demonstrated that natural selection allows the morphology and behavior of Darwin's finches to change rapidly in response to environmental fluctuations. For information on the free lectures go to

www.kyotoprize.org

.

The prestigious Kyoto Prize is awarded annually by the foundation to individuals or groups that have made outstanding contributions to the betterment of humanity.

   
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