The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in New York City has announced the 2012 winners of its Sloan Research Fellowships, which are given to early career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars in their fields.
Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships, which include a $50,000 grant to be used to further a recipient's research, have traditionally recognized those working in chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, and physics. This year, however, a new field was added in recognition of the work performed — much of it by young scientists — during the ten-year Census of Marine Life.
The 2012 cohort of Sloan Fellows includes a hundred and twenty-six researchers from fifty-one colleges and universities across the United States and Canada representing a variety of interests, including an astrophysicist who searches for extra-solar planets, a chemical oceanographer who dove into the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, a chemist who examines how tiny metal particles in the brain might contribute to Alzheimer's, and a computer scientist who is teaching computers to identify the content of pictures by programming them to ask humans for help.
"Today's Sloan Research Fellows are tomorrow's Nobel Prize winners," said Sloan Foundation president Paul L. Joskow. "These outstanding men and women are responsible for some of the most exciting science being done today. The foundation is proud to support them during this pivotal stage of their careers."