The mystery will be unveiled in the very last moment
March 20, 2017
Who is going to be the Global Energy Prize laureate this year?
In experts’ opinion, famous people may compete for the prestigious Global Energy Prize this year – from the ex-Secretary of Energy, Nobel laureate, Professor Steven Chu to great innovator Elon Musk, seasoned members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and technological headliners of the world.
The "Rossiiskaya Gazeta" continues a series of publications about the Global Energy Prize. Why? Unique, out-of-the-box solutions, like unexpectedly tall, perfect, bright plants amidst flat field, always attract attention. This project launched fifteen years ago in Russia commendably holds its own place in the scientific and technological life of the planet. During the years of its existence, the prize has been retaining its unique character at the same time adding all attributes of the major worldwide awards. It is well-earned international standing and the list of scientists associated with the award – both nominees representing the most recognized specialists of global value, and as much as over three thousand experts from ninety countries of the world! Since 2003, thirty-four A-list scientists from the UK, Germany, Iceland, Canada, Russia, USA, Ukraine, France, Sweden, and Japan became laureates of the prize. Monetary component of the prize is rather substantial too: in 2016, it amounted to 39 million rubles.
Traditionally, the prize steering committee starts working in the fall, when internationally recognized scientists and experts of the energy field entitled to present their nominees may exercise their right. This is when the above-mentioned 3000 experts from ninety countries start nominating their top picks, the international leading specialists. This year, the list of distinguished candidates exceeded 150 persons from almost thirty countries. Then, three independent international expert boards evaluate each nominee: eighty-five experts of international level representing eighteen countries draw up final tables of their own preferences. When the scores are summed up, a long list of nominees is formed. This information is confidential.
Do you think this is it? No, it is not that simple. Now, the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee comprising twenty outstanding specialists from thirteen countries draws up its own short-list after initial discussion of the candidates and then, through secret ballot, selects the most worthy to become a laureate of this prestigious international award.
This multi-stage pre-qualification process is organized rather intricately, it appears that it has been crystallizing and regularly adjusting for all fifteen years of the project existence. Off the record, a number of scientists, who used to be members of the International Award Committee, told me that the steering committee is very strict about the integrity of the process: they both improve regulatory documents and resolutely withdraw people, who are suspected of attempts to "promote" someone. Such system is safe against manifestations of tunnel thinking, pressure of authorities and titles, mischief making or political warped judgement of the moment. It is possible to unveil the mystery only in the very last moment, i.e. during the ceremony of the winner declaring, which will take place on April 6 this year.
It should be noted that this selection system does not exclude surprises, which happened last year, for instance, when very unexpectedly the Committee gave the award to the sole winner selected from 140 worthy nominees from all over the world – our countryman, member of the RAS Valentin Parmon, whereas in all previous years the award went to two or three laureates.
Will there be any surprises in the year 2017? Will we see a triumph of a person without any scholastic degrees, such as Elon Musk, who was cheered by the editorial staff of the "RG" in 2016, or, vice versa, will a famous scientist crowned with glory of previous scientific achievements win the prize rather predictably? We will know on April 6.
Full version of the article is available by the link https://rg.ru/2017/03/19/kto-stanet-laureatom-premii-globalnaia-energiia-v-2017-godu.html