SCNAT honours the four best dissertations in sciences

The storage of radioactive waste, the pollination of plants, the use of solar energy, and the mathematical parsing of knots and surfaces – the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) will honour the four most important discoveries and solutions by young researchers at Swiss universities with the Prix Schläfli 2018 in Bern on 25 May. Alexandre Bagnoud (Geosciences), Livio Liechti (Mathematics), Hester Sheehan (Biology) and Xiaojiang Xie (Chemistry) win the prize for discoveries made while working on their dissertations. The Prix Schläfli has been awarded since 1866.

Preisträgerin und Preisträger Prix Schläfli 2018
Image: Manu Friederich

"These are fantastic examples of cutting-edge research: the four young prize winners have revealed pivotal insights and are helping to find solutions to major issues", says Marcel Tanner, President of SCNAT. Every year, the Prix Schläfli is awarded to the four best natural science dissertations.

For his dissertation at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Alexandre Bagnoud demonstrated how microbial communities can make the storage of radioactive waste safer. At the University of Geneva, Xiaojiang Xie developed an entirely new way of converting solar energy into electricity. While studying at the University of Bern, Hester Sheehan decoded genetic and evolutionary mechanisms that can be used by flowering plants to attract new pollinators. And at the University of Bern, Livio Liechti developed new perspectives on knot theory and surface geometry.

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