Peter Scholze, director at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics and professor at the University of Bonn, has been awarded the Pius XI Gold Medal 2020 by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
The medal is awarded every two years to a young scientist under the age of 45, chosen for his or her exceptional promise. After Luis A. Caffarelli (1988), Laure Saint-Raymond (2004), and CÚdric Villani (2014), Peter Scholze is only the fourth mathematician to receive this honor.
Peter Scholze was born in 1987. After studying mathematics at the University of Bonn, master’s degree in 2010, PhD in 2012, he became Clay Research Fellow from 2011 to 2016 and Chancellor’s Professor at UC Berkeley in fall 2014. At the University of Bonn, he received a Hausdorff Chair in the Cluster of Excellence Hausdorff Center for Mathematics in 2012, of which he is still a member. He has been a scientific member and director at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn since July 2018. His many highest-ranking awards include the Clay Research Award (2014), the Ostrowski Prize (2015), the DFG Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize (2016), and the Fields Medal (2018). In 2019 he was honored with the Grand Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, and in 2022 he became a Foreign Member of the Royal Society.
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is the only supranational academy of sciences in the world. Founded in Rome in 1603 as the first exclusively scientific academy in the world with the name Linceorum Academia, to which Galileo Galilei was appointed member in 1610, it was reestablished in 1847 by Pius IX with the name Pontificia Accademia dei Nuovi Lincei. It was moved to its current headquarters in the Vatican Gardens in 1922, and given its current name and statutes by Pius XI in 1936. Its mission is to honor pure science wherever it may be found, ensure its freedom, and encourage research for the progress of science.
Its 80 Pontifical Academicians are appointed for life by the Pope following proposals by the academic body and chosen without any form of ethnic or religious discrimination from the most eminent scientists and scholars of the mathematical and experimental sciences of every country of the world. Development researcher Joachim von Braun, who works at the University of Bonn, has been President of the Academy since 2017; he became a member in 2012.