Lincei award

Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, the most important science academy of Italy has awarded Roberta Sessoli of the Università di Firenze and Consorzio INSTM node of the EIMM, the prestigious Premio Linceo 2013 per la Chimica, a prize assigned every 10 years. 
Among the former winners are top scientists such as the late Ivano Bertini, and Gaetano Guerra from the 1993 and 2003 editions respectively.

The prize has been awarded to Roberta Sessoli because of her career based on the study of low-dimensional magnetic material and on the discovery of Single Molecule Magnets. The discovery of this class of molecules opened new perspectives in the field of molecular magnetism. The pioneering studies that she performed overlap both chemistry and physics fields highlighting potential applications in the field of nano-technologies, in particular where this kind of molecules can be seen as possible devices for spintronic applications. A few years ago the top journal Nature identified the research activity of Roberta Sessoli together with some of her colleagues (Barbara, Gatteschi, Novak, Friedman and others) as a milestone in the scientific history of the spin (http://www.nature.com/milestones/milespin/timeline.html)

The Accademia dei Lincei was founded in 1603 by Federico Cesi, an aristocrat, interested in natural history - particularly botany. The academy replaced the first scientific community ever, Giambattista della Porta's Academia Secretorum Naturae in Naples that had been closed by the Inquisition. Cesi founded the Accademia dei Lincei with the Dutch physician Johannes Van Heeck (italianized to Giovanni Ecchio), the mathematician Francesco Stelluti and polymath Anastasio de Filiis. Cesi and his friends aimed to understand all of the natural sciences. This emphasis that set the Lincei apart from the host of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italian Academies that were mostly literary and antiquarian. Cesi envisioned a program of free experiment that was respectful of tradition yet unfettered by blind obedience to any authority, even that of Aristotle and Ptolemy whose theories were being called into question by the new science. The four men chose the name "Lincei" (lynx) from Giambattista della Porta's book "Magia Naturalis", which had an illustration of the fabled cat on the cover and the words "...with lynx like eyes, examining those things which manifest themselves, so that having observed them, he may zealously use them". Accademia dei Lincei's symbols were both a lynx and an eagle; animals with keen sight. Among the first participants was Galileo Galilei, who was inducted to the exclusive academy in 1611. The academy published his works and supported him throughout his disputes with the Roman Inquisition. Among the academy's early publications in the fields of astronomy, physics and botany were the study of sunspots and the famous Saggiatore of Galileo, and the Tesoro Messicano (Mexican Treasury) describing the flora, fauna and drugs of the New World, which took decades of labour, up until 1651. The Academy had periods of major and minor activities, but since its foundation its members have included some of the most important Italian (as well as several foreigners) scientists. Particularly over last period we may remember scientists such as: Benedetto Croce, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Giovanni Gentile, Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg, Theodor Mommsen, Antonio Pacinotti, Louis Pasteur, Max Planck, Olinto De Pretto, Augusto Righi, Wilhelm Roentgen, .Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff.

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