Akira Okubo Prize
The Akira Okubo Fund was established in memory of Akira Okubo, who made major contributions to many fields, including mathematical ecology and oceanography. Okubo was widely recognized for his scientific work, as well as for his exceptional humanity.
The objective of the Akira Okubo Prize is to honor a living scientist for outstanding and innovative theoretical work, for establishing superb conceptual ideas, for solving tough theoretical problems, and/or for uniting theory and data to advance a biological subject.
Mathematical biology, bio-mathematics, theoretical biology, and biological oceanography.
Every other year, beginning in 1999.
The Award is given alternately to two kinds of people: a junior scientist who has published a splendid piece of recent work, and a senior scientist whose lifetime work has been exemplary. Candidates need not be restricted to members of SMB or JSMB. The first award in 1999 was given to a junior scientist.
The following criteria will be used for ranking nominations and selecting the award winner: originality (discovering a new theory and opening a new research direction), breakthrough (solving outstanding problems in the field), new synthesis (leading to a new research area), and impact already made, or expected, on subsequent studies.
The Presidents of SMB and JSMB solicit and encourage all members of JSMB and SMB for nominations of individuals to serve on the Awards Committee. (Committee members need not be restricted to members of JSMB and SMB.) Three members of the Awards Committee are then selected from each of SMB and JSMB by the Presidents of the two societies. A Committee member generally serves for three years and then cannot be reappointed in the following six year period. One new member is to be appointed each year by each society to make for a smooth transition (except for the initial appointments). The Committee chair rotates between the two countries.
A member of the Awards committee is excluded from receiving the Okubo prize while serving on the Committee. The Committee can base their selection of a prize winner on consultation with other expert opinions. Nominations are currently being accepted.
The Akira Okubo Prize consists of a cash prize and a plaque given to the recipient. Money to pay for the plaque and cash prize is to come from the Akira Okubo Prize Fund, administered by the Treasurer of the SMB. Okubo Prize winner is expected to give a talk to both the SMB and JSMB, with the Societies covering the respective costs. In the event of a joint talk to the Societies, the cost should be split between SMB and JSMB.