Melinda Gates


The Economist annual prizes recognise successful innovators in eight categories. Here are this year’s winners: Bioscience: Martin Evans, director of the school of biosciences and professor of mammalian genetics at Cardiff University, for his work in stem-cell research and the development of “knockout” mice. Sir Martin performed pioneering research into stem cells, and used them to create mice with a specific genetic disorder. This led to the creation of “knockout” mice, which are used to model human diseases by deactivating a specific gene. Business Process: Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia for the promotion of online public collaboration as a means of content development.
LIRNEasia is sending its Lead Economist Harsha de Silva to participate on a MIT scholarship to the first ever executive course offered by the Poverty Action Lab this summer. The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, a unit within MIT’s Department of Economics, serves as a focal point for development and poverty research based on “randomized trials”. According to Harsha, this program can significantly contribute to WDR & LIRNEasia’s ongoing and future research projects on ICTs. For example, “In the Teleuse on Shoestring project it is difficult to measure how much the poor actually benefitted from having access to the phone. There are a number of variables like cultural background, access to other infrastructure services, level of education etc which make it difficult for us to pinpoint how much access to telephone had in improving the quality of life of the poor in India and Sri Lanka,” said Harsha.