A U.S. law professor-philosopher, a British botanist, a German-born music historian and an Australian climate expert have won this year's Balzan Prizes.

The Balzans are awarded each year in a variety of fields and are given by a foundation based in Milan and Zurich, Switzerland. Each prize is worth 750,000 Swiss francs (about €620,000 or $790,000), and half of the amount must be destined for research, preferably involving young scholars.

The winners announced Monday included Ronald Dworkin, 80, a New York University professor who won the jurisprudence prize. He was cited for his "sharpness, originality and clarity of thought in a constant and fruitful interaction with ethical and political theories and with legal practices."

Australian Kurt Lambeck, 70, who was born in the Netherlands, won the solid earth sciences prize. The award citation said his findings "have radically modified climate science."

Reinhard Strohm, 70, a German-born music scholar, won the musicology prize. He was praised for extensive research on the history of European music from the late Middle Ages to the present, among other contributions.

The fourth prize recognized contributions in epigenetics. Winning that prize was Briton Sir David Charles Baulcombe, 60, a botanist who is the head of the plant sciences department at the University of Cambridge. He was chosen for his "fundamental contribution to the understanding of epigenetics and its role in cell and tissue development under normal and stressful conditions."

Next year's prizes will be awarded in the fields of medieval history, sociology, quantum information and infectious diseases.