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Nobel Prize wins for Royal Society Fellows

05 October 2010

The 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics has been won by 2010 Hughes Medalist Andrei Geim FRS and Royal Society 2010 Anniversary Research Professor, and Konstantin Novoselov, a Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Manchester.

Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society said: “Everyone associated with the  Royal Society is delighted that Andrei Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, both of whom are funded by the Society, have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.  Andrei Geim, a Fellow of the Royal Society and Royal Society Research Professor, and Konstantin Novoselov, a Royal Society University Research Fellow, have undertaken extraordinarily creative research which led to the discovery of graphene, which will prove invaluable in future electronic and materials technologies and as we face the challenges of increasing need for renewable energy sources.

It would be hard to envisage  better exemplars of the value of enabling outstanding  individuals to pursue 'open-ended' research projects whose outcome is unpredictable. These two brilliant scientists were attracted to the UK by the promise of adequate  funding and a supportive environment in a first-rate university.  There are surely important lessons to be drawn by the government from  Nobel Committee's decision. The UK must sustain our science at a competitive level in a world where talent is mobile and other countries are advancing fast - and eliminate immigration restrictions that would impede the inflow of talent.  The UK's investment in the physical sciences is paying off and needs to be sustained.”

Both scientists are supported by the Royal Society with funding from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

This win represents a second success for the UK and the Royal Society in this year’s Nobel Prizes, as another Fellow of the Royal Society, Professor Robert Edwards won the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology yesterday.