Special Recognitions 2008
Every year the World Cultural Council grants special acknowledgements in the frame of the Award Ceremony to people who have achieved outstanding performance in the fields of science, education or arts.
The criteria for choosing people for special recognitions is for people who have had a significant influence on the advancement of culture in their country, people who have brought an additional impact to the society, through their work, besides their academic contributions and research.
Ignacio Rodríguez-Iturbe is our James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a world-renowned hydrologist. Winner of the Stockholm Water Prize, informally known as the “Nobel Prize of water,” he has shed invaluable light on this critical element in planetary life be it the common structure of river basins, the self-reinforcing nature of droughts and floods, or the role of soil moisture in the interaction of climate, soil, and vegetation.
Professor in Molecular Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator Bonnie Bassler is among the brightest stars in the biomedical field today. Her groundbraking research into bacterial communication is advancing the search for anti-microbial drugs to combat diseases such as cholera, and her passion and curiosity have been a source of inspiration for many would-be scientists.
Douglas Massey, the Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs among the world’s foremost authorities on international migration and residential segregation. He has devoted particular attention to the causes, nature, and consequences of Mexican immigration to the United States and co-directs the binational Mexican Migration Project, a long-term study of this phenomenon, which has such far-reaching consequences for both the United States and Mexico.
Cornel West, the Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies, is an eminent scholar whose work on race and democracy has placed him in the forefront of American debates about the nature of our society. Equally at home in the classroom and the public square, he is an eloquent spokesman for social justice and has been rightly described as “the leading cultural critic, race theorist and public intellectual of his generation.”