History and intention of the prize:
On the occasion of the 1991 Gordon Conference on Chronobiology, a dinner was given in honor of Prof. Jürgen Aschoff, one of the founding fathers of our field. I was asked by the organizer of the meeting, Prof. J. Woodland Hastings to give the speech of honor. I decided that the best way to celebrate the work of Jürgen Aschoff was to initiate a prize which would be awarded on an annual basis to scientists who have advanced our knowledge in chronobiology in the spirit of Jürgen Aschoff's work. He has not only opened up one of the most fascinating fields in biology but also has taught us to ask and answer questions bridging many biological disciplines and methods. This spirit is responsible for the ongoing communication between chronobiologists working with several different species on many different levels of biology, ranging from molecular approaches in unicellular organisms to the investigation of psychiatric phenomena in humans. This interdisciplinary exchange is unique among the natural sciences today.
The prize was named after "Aschoff's Rule" which is well known to all chronobiologists and should remind all of us to pursue our scientific work according to Aschoff's spirit.
The prize should be passed on each year by the current winner to a successor of his choice who will be awarded with the plaque at either of the alternating conferences: the "Gordon Conference on Chronobiology" and the meeting of the "Society of Research on Biological Rhythms". If the current holder cannot attend the conference, he should arrange for the prize to be awarded to the next winner on his/her behalf. To keep track of the list of winners, the names should be engraved on the back of the plaque.
The choice of the successor must be decided according to two simple rules:
The successor should be a chronobiologist working in a country different to the one of the current holder of the prize.
The successor should be working with an organism different to the one of the current holder of the prize.
Irsee, October 1991 (on behalf of the prize committee)