Nobel Prize season begins every October as committees in Sweden and Norway name laureates in a variety of prizes in the sciences, literature and economics, as well as peace work. The announcements started with the awarding of the prize in Physiology or Medicine and wrapped up when the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was announced.
Nobel Prize is given at an international level which is administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden. It is awarded for outstanding contributions in several categories including chemistry, literature, peace, physics, physiology or medicine and economic sciences. The will of Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel established five Nobel prizes in 1895. The prizes in Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, and Physiology or Medicine were first awarded in 1901.
Digital ceremony this year
The Nobel Prizes most years are presented to recipients in Stockholm and Oslo in December. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the committees are changing their approaches. Some of the events in Stockholm will be canceled in favour of a digital ceremony for the Nobelists, and medals and diplomas are to be distributed to the recipients’ embassies and handed over in their home countries. Recipients may be invited to the award ceremony for 2021, if possible.
The Oslo ceremony for the peace prize will be smaller than in most years, with a limited audience. The Nobel committee also announced another change last month: Each prize will rise to 10 million Swedish krona, 1 million more than in the previous year. That’s a hike in the prize value of about $112,000 in current exchange rates.
The 2020 winners
Physiology or Medicine : Drs. Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice on Monday received the prize for their discovery of the hepatitis C virus. The Nobel committee said the three scientists had “made possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives.”
Physics: Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez received the prize on Tuesday for their discoveries that have improved understanding of the universe, including work on black holes. Penrose discovered that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity, while Genzel and Ghez discovered supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy.
Chemistry: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was jointly awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for their work on the development of Crispr-Cas9, a method for genome editing.
Literature: The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Louise Glück, one of America’s most celebrated poets, “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”
Peace Prize: The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the World Food Programme for its efforts to combat a surge in global hunger amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has swept around the world with devastating impact.
Economic Science: Paul R Milgrom and Robert B Wilson were awarded the Nobel in economic science on for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.
- Awards: 603
- Laureates: 962
- Prize categories: 6
- Awarded women: 57
- Awarded organisations: 25
- Youngest laureate: 17
- Oldest laureate: 97
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