Doreen Kimura Wins Kistler Prize

January 2007

The Foundation for the Future has selected Dr. Doreen Kimura, a world expert on sex differences in the brain, as the 2006 winner of the Kistler Prize.

The Prize is awarded annually for original work that significantly increases knowledge and understanding of the relationship between the human genome and society.Doreen Kimura is being honoured for her research on biological influences on human cognitive and motor skills most notably the relationship between sex and cognition. A leading researcher for over 30 years in neuropsychology and sex differences, she studies the relationship of levels of sex hormones to cognitive patterns in men and women. Her book Sex and Cognition (1999) discusses known sex differences in cognitive and motor skills, a possible evolutionary framework, and the probable hormonal bases of some of the differences. Other emphases of Dr. Kimura's work have included studies of people with pathology to the brain, to see which abilities are affected after different parts of the brain are damaged, and research in the normal functioning of the cerebral hemispheres.“An element of the Kistler Prize that makes it unique among major scholarly prizes is that it is was created to honor significant dedication to scientific research, with courage and conviction in the face of criticism and opposition,” said Sesh Velamoor, Deputy Director, Programs, for the Foundation. “Dr. Kimura has steadfastly continued her research into the differences in male and female brain processing despite often-loud offence taken in a society that prefers to claim equality and deny the actuality of difference.”

The Kistler Prize consists of a US$100,000 cash award and a specially designed 200 gram gold medallion seated in a leaded glass sculpture. The award was presented on October 22, 2006 in Seattle, Washington. Previous award recipients include E.O. Wilson and Richard Dawkins.

Doreen Kimura, is currently a visiting professor at Simon Fraser University. Previously she was a professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario for over 30 years. She holds honorary degrees from Queen's University and Simon Fraser University. Doreen was founding president of SAFS.

On behalf of SAFS, I offer Doreen our heartfelt congratulations. I am also very happy to announce that Doreen has made a substantial contribution to SAFS. We thank her for her generosity and continuing commitment to SAFS.