updated 6/10/2005 8:00:26 PM ET 2005-06-11T00:00:26

Two American scientists and an Austrian conductor won this year's Kyoto Prizes, the Japanese awards for achievement in the arts and sciences.

The advanced technology award went to George H. Heilmeier, 69, a chairman emeritus of New Jersey-based Telcordia Technologies, Inc. In 1968 Heilmeier led a team that created the first prototypes for the liquid crystal display screens used in flat-panel computers and televisions.

Simon A. Levin, 64, a professor of ecology at Princeton University, won the basic sciences category for his role in establishing the field of spatial ecology.

The Inamori Foundation, which awards the prizes, said his use of mathematical models to understand ecological patterns "has made a substantial impact on environmental sciences and new methods of environmental protection."

In the arts and philosophy category, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, 75, a performer of early music, was recognized for his "exceptional creativity" that has helped broaden musical theory by recreating the original sounds of early compositions by restoring the original instruments and through analysis of their historical contexts. He conducted the Vienna and Berlin philharmonic orchestras in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

Each recipient will be awarded a gold medal and $465,000 at a ceremony in November in the western Japanese city of Kyoto.

The Kyoto Prize was founded in 1985 and is awarded to individuals or groups selected from a list of worldwide candidates.

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