The man who found the homeobox is one of three winners of this year's 50-million-yen ($475,000 each) Kyoto Prizes. Developmental biologist Walter Jacob Gehring of the University of Basel in Switzerland is honored for his work with fruit flies, identifying the stretch of DNA that occurs in genes regulating development in a vast range of organisms from yeast to mammals.
Also honored is computer scientist Charles Antony Richard Hoare, professor emeritus at the University of Oxford, who has created basic algorithms for sorting data and rules of logic that underpin large-scale software programs. The third winner of the prize, awarded to those who contribute to the "scientific, cultural, or spiritual betterment of society," is 87-year-old French philosopher Paul Ricoeur, formerly of the universities of Paris and Chicago, for "an imposing construct of hermeneutic phenomenology that embraces a new concept of ethics." Those who understand Ricoeur's work say it helps analyze metaphor and narrative in formulating new approaches to interpreting mythology, the Bible, and psychoanalysis.
Awards, by the Inamori Foundation, will be presented at a November ceremony in Kyoto.