The trophy features a head and brain(waves) in the shape of a heart and bearing a text by Pascal (Pensée 277), one of the founders of present-day cognitive science: ‘Le Coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît point’. Which means ‘the heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of’. The trophy was designed and produced by Don Staakman.
The C.L. de Carvalho-Heineken Prize for Cognitive Science (in 2006 instituted as the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Cognitive Science) is awarded to a distinguished researcher in this relatively new field. The biennial prize highlights the importance of investigating the cognitive functions of humans and animals. The prize consists of 200,000 US Dollars and a trophy; it is funded by the Alfred Heineken Fondsen Foundation.
Cognitive science, insight into the workings of the human mind, is still a young field of research. But a wealth of experience has been built up over the past half century on our ability to think, talk, learn, decide and perceive. This new field has matured and is recognised in the C.L. de Carvalho-Heineken Prize for Cognitive Science.
Although this prize has been inaugurated four years after his death, the Alfred Heineken Fondsen Foundation is sure that Alfred Heineken would regard it as an important new award. The man who spent his whole life improving his mind and wanting to continue learning and developing, would without doubt have applauded this development.
His daughter Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken said: ‘My father was fascinated by the workings of the human brain. It will be entirely within the spirit of the idea behind all the Heineken Prizes if we can contribute to scientific research in this field with this prize.’