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Joan Martinez-Alier wins Balzan Prize

The International Balzan Foundation based in Milan, Italy awarded Joan Martinez Alier, the 2020 Balzan Prize for Environmental Challenges: Responses from the Social Sciences and the Humanities. 

Joan Martinez Alier received this award, “for the quality of his contributions to the foundation of ecological economics, his path-breaking analysis of the relationships between economies and the environment, his interdisciplinary as well as comparative approach, and his active role in the promotion of environmental justice.”

Joan was one of the four Balzan Prizewinners for this year  which included winners such as: 

Susan Trumbore (Germany/USA), Max Planck Institut für Biogeochemie – Jena, for  Earth System Dynamics,
Jean-Marie Tarascon (France), Collège de France – Paris, for Environmental Challenges: Materials Science for Renewable Energy,
Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brasil), Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais – Belo Horizonte, for Human Rights.

Each winner is awarded CHF 750,000 (approx. EUR 695,000; USD 830,000; GBP 630,000) where half of the amount must be destined to future research projects. 

The four subject areas for the awards change every year to ensure that new or emerging research receives recognition. The winners are selected from among different categories including, “literature, the moral sciences, and the arts”, “physical, mathematical and natural sciences and medicine”, and “humanities, peace and fraternity among peoples.”

On November 19, Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella will be awarding the four prize winners during the awards ceremony to be held in Rome.

About the Balzan Prize

The International Balzan Foundation was created in Lugano in 1956, by Lina Balzan, who used her acquired inheritance to honour the memory of her father, Eugenio Balzan. Since 1961, the Balzan Prize has been awarded to scholars and scientists who are distinguished in their fields on an international level. The Balzan Prize’s aim is to foster culture, the sciences and the most meritorious initiatives in the cause of humanity, peace and fraternity among peoples throughout the world.

Since 2001, Prizewinners must destine half of the prize to finance research projects that are preferably carried out by young scholars or scientists.

Dr. Joan Martinez-Alier, born in Barcelona, Spain in 1939 is the Emeritus Professor at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), where he received his PhD in 1976. During his career, he has held positions at Oxford University, Stanford University, University of California Davis, FLACSO, and Yale University. Most recently he has served as co-director of EJAtlas and currently directs the EnvJustice Project at ICTA-UAB on ecological distribution conflicts and the global movement for environmental justice. He played a crucial role in the development of ecological economics, serving as a founding member and past president of the International Society for Ecological Economics.

Learn more about Dr. Martinez-Alier