The independent, international jury of criminologists selected the winners for their pioneering studies of the patterns of onset, persistence, frequency, severity, and desistance in criminal acts.

About Alfred Blumstein

Alfred Blumstein is the J. Erik Jonsson University Professor of Urban Systems and Operations Research and former Dean at the Heinz School of Public Policy at the Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh (USA).

His contributions include much of the language used to describe the key features of criminal careers, including the concept of "lambda" as the underlying true frequency of criminal offending that can only be estimated on the basis of such indirect measures as arrests, convictions or self-reported offending.

As the chair of the (US) National Academy of Sciences Panel on Research on Criminal Careers in 1986, he was senior editor of a landmark report on the state of knowledge about "criminal careers" and patterns of offending, which stressed methodological uncertainties about predictions of future offending in any individual case and the ethical limitations of basing sentencing practices upon prior criminal records. In co-authored works with many of the leading contributors to knowledge on criminal careers, he provided insightful and inspiring leadership for understanding the development of criminal careers-with dramatic implications for public safety and crime prevention.

About Terrie E Moffitt

Terrie E Moffitt is a Professor of Social Behavior and Development in the Medical Research Council's Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry of the University of London (UK), and Professor of Psychology at Duke University (USA).

She has a leadership role in major social, psychological and biological studies of crime and human development around the world. Her work on the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study in New Zealand has identified patterns of intimate as well as stranger crime, including discoveries about the role of females as initiators of violence. In 2002 she and her colleagues reported in SCIENCE on the environmental interaction of child abuse with a genetic predisposition to low expression of Monoamine Oxidase A, an enzyme that regulates major neurotransmitters at the synapses of the brain's neurons. People who lack both this predisposition and a history of child abuse had much lower levels of violent behavior by early adulthood than people who had both these environmental and genetic risk factors for violence.

This finding has stimulated a global discussion of the idea of criminal intent and responsibility, as well as raising profound questions about humane strategies for crime prevention among abused children at risk of future violence.

Professor Moffitt is also carrying out an important large-scale follow-up of twins in the UK to investigate biological, psychological, and social influences on development.