A German music historian, a British history professor, two astrophysicists from Italy and the United States, and two U.S. and Canadian biologists are winners of Italy's 2006 Balzan prize.
The annual prize is awarded to what the Balzan foundation says are overlooked fields of study.
This year's winners include music historian Ludwig Finscher of the University of Heidelberg - who wrote a history of Western music since 1600 - and Professor Quentin Skinner of Britain's Cambridge University, for his works on the history of political thought.
Each prize is worth about $81,000 and part of the winnings must be used to fund research projects conducted by young scholars or scientists.
Past Balzan prizewinners include Mother Teresa and Pope John XXIII.
The prize is named for Italian journalist Eugenio Balzan, who fled Italian fascism in the 1930s.