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August 25, 2009

Gottfried Schatz Honoured by the European Foundation for Culture

Gottfried Schatz, former Head of the Biozentrum and Professor emeritus of Biochemistry at the University of Basel, has been awarded the “Europäischer Preis für Wissenschaftskultur”. The award is presented by the European Foundation for Culture PRO EUROPA to decorate high-ranking persons, who have rendered outstanding services to the European culture.

Prof. Gottfried Schatz

On August 29, 2009, Prof. Gottfried Schatz will be presented with the "Europäischer Preis für Wissenschaftskultur" (European Prize for Culture in Science) in Basel. The award honours his dedicated service to culture in science and its impact reaching far beyond the country's borders.

For the past twenty years, the European Foundation for Culture PRO EUROPA has been awarding annual prizes to persons or projects of outstanding cultural impact to Europe It also furthers the career of exceptionally talented young artists through financial assistance as well as concert opportunities. Traditionally, the "Europäische Kulturpreis" is under the patronage of the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament.

This year's awardee Gottfried Schatz was born in 1936 in Strem, Austria. He took on a Professorship in Biochemistry in 1974 at the Biozentrum, of which he then later became Head for several years. He played a leading role in elucidating the biogenesis of mitochondria and was a co-discoverer of mitochondrial DNA. From 1984 until 1989, Professor Schatz was Secretary General of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). After receiving the emeritus status in 2000, he served as President of the Swiss Science and Technology Council for four years. Gottfried Schatz is the author of many publications and several books, member of many scientific academies and has been awarded many distinguished prizes and honours along with two honorary doctorates. In younger years he also played the violin in the Graz Philharmonic Ochestra and in several opera houses in Graz and Vienna.

During the past four years, Gottfried Schatz became widely known through his public lectures, television appearances and regular columns in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, through which he conveys the cultural implication of science to the general public.

Through these awards, the European Foundation for Culture PRO EUROPA honours unknown young artists along with already famous individuals, thereby contributing to the furtherance and to the promotion of a new generation of culture and creative forces in the culture of Europe.

The award ceremony will take place on August 29, 2009 on the Novartis Campus in Basel.

Contact: Communications