This prize adds to Thuan’s growing list of awards for his writing, the most recent being the UNESCO Kalinga Prize in 2009.
The Cino del Duca award was established in 1969 in France by Simone Del Duca (1912–2004) to continue the work of her husband, publishing magnate Cino Del Duca (1899–1967).
Designed to recognize and reward an author whose work constitutes, in a scientific or literary form, a message of modern humanism, the award currently carries a Eur 300,000 prize.
In addition to his research, he teaches a course at the University of Virginia which is called "Astronomy for Poets." In this course, students with a non-scientific background have the pleasure of discovering the wonders of the Universe in a non-technical language.
His books include "Dictionary of the Lover of the Sky and the Stars" (2009); "The Ways of Light" (2007); "Origins" (2003); "The Quantum and the Lotus" (2001); "Chaos and Harmony" (2001); "Birth of the Universe" (1993); "An Astrophysicist" (1992), and "The Secret Melody" (1995).
In 2007, the French Academy awarded its prestigious Grand Prix Moron to Thuan for "The Ways of Light." That award is roughly equivalent to the American Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award.