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All About Noble Prize

Mahendra Guru
All About Noble Prize


The Noble Prize is an annual international prize presented by Norwegian Institute in the categories including peace, literature, physics, chemistry, medicine and economics

This was established by Alfred Nobel. In his possession, he announced to give a series of prizes in the field of Literature, Physics, Chemistry, Medicine and Peace

The Prize for Economics was added in 1968 by Sveriges Riksbank (Swedish Central Bank) and is known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel. 

The First Noble Prizes were announced and awarded in the year 1901.

The prize ceremonies held annually in Stockholm, Sweden (only peace prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway). Each recipient, or laureate, gets a gold medal, a diploma, and a sum of money that has been decided by the Nobel Foundation. 

From 1901 to 2016, 579 prizes have been awarded to 911 laureates. Not more than three laureates and two different works may be selected per award. All the awards have been presented to individuals, only the Peace Prize can be awarded to institutions. 

Some facts about Noble Prize:

 During these 117 years of Noble prize, there are total 49 times when the prize was not awarded to anyone. Most of them are during World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945). 

 Apart from the years when Nobel Prize has not been awarded to anyone, there were few persons who were awarded more than once. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been honoured with the noble peace prize three times. Whereas Henry Dunant, the Founder of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was the recipient of first Noble peace prize in 1901. 

Linus Pauling is the only Noble Laurate with two unshared Noble prizes. Linus Pauling’s received his noble prize in 1954 in the field of chemistry and he was honoured again in 1962 with Noble Peace Prize. 

In these many years, some family members were also honoured with the noble prizes. They are:
1. Gerty Cori and Carl Cori, the couple received the Noble Prize in 1949 in the field of Physiology or Medicine. 

2. May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser, the couple were awarded with the 2014 Nobel Prize in the field of Physiology or Medicine

3. Duo of Father-Son who received the Noble Prize are:
Hans von Euler-Chelpin(Chemistry) and Ulf von Euler(Medicine or Physiology) 
Arthur Kornberg (Medicine or Physiology) and Roger D. Kornberg(Chemistry)

4. Two brothers have also been honoured with this prize in different fields 
Jan Tinbergen (Economics) and Nikolaas Tinbergen(Medicine).

Noble prize in medicine or physiology

Noble prize 2017 in the field of physiology or medicine has been awarded jointly to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young for their discoveries of “molecular mechanism controlling the circadian rhythm”. 

Till 2017, total 107 Nobel Prizes were awarded. No one has received this award more than once. The oldest recipient of Noble Prize in this category is Peyton Rous. He was 87 years old while being honoured with the Noble Prize in 1966. The youngest recipient is Frederick G. Banting. At the age of 32 in 1923, he was honoured with this award. 

Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 was awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson "for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution".

To date, 109 Noble prizes in chemistry have been awarded. There are total 63 times when this prize is received by a single laureate only. So far, 4 women have been awarded with this prize. Frédéric Joliot is the youngest recipient of this honour. He was awarded with the Noble prize in 1935 at the age of 35. John B. Fenn is the oldest recipient till now. He was 85 while receiving this honour in 2002. Frederick Sanger is the only person to receive this prize twice, in 1985 and 1980. 

Noble Prize in Physics

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 is awarded to Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves".

To date 111 Noble prizes in chemistry have been awarded.47 laurates received an unshared prize. So far, 2 women have been awarded with this prize. The oldest Nobel Laureate to date is Raymond Davis Jr. He was 88 years old when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2002. Lawrence Bragg is the youngest recipient to date. In 1915, at the age of 25 he washonouredd with this prize. John Bardeen is the only person who received this award twice. 

Noble Prize in Literature

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017 is awarded to Kazuo Ishiguro" who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world".

To date 110 Noble Prizes in Literature have been awarded which includes 14 Women laurates. The youngest receiver of the Noble Prize is Rudyard Kipling (best recognized for The Jungle Book). He was 41 while receiving this honour in 1907. , Doris Lessing, the oldest Noble Laureate of Literature was 88 years old when he received this award in 2007. 

Noble peace prize

Noble Peace Prize 2017 is awarded to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapon (ICAN) for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons"

To date this prize has been received by 130 laurates which include 104 individuals and 26 organisations. Among these 26 organisations, Comité International de la Croix Rouge (International Committee of the Red Cross) was honoured with this award three times and Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was honoured two times.

The oldest recipient of this honour is Joseph Rotblat. He received this award in 1995 at the age of 87. The youngest Noble Peace Prize recipient is Malala Yousafzai. She was only 17 years old and was awarded in 2014 along with Kailash Satyarthi. 

The only person who declined this award is Le Duc Tho, Vietnamese politician. He was awarded in 1973 along with Henry Kissinger, US Secretary of state. They both were awarded with the peace prize for negotiating the Vietnam peace accord. 

Prize in Economic Sciences

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2017 was awarded to Richard H. Thaler "for his contributions to behavioural economics".

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was first announced in 1969, since then 49 prizes have been awarded. 25 prizes have been awarded to single laurate only. Elinor Ostrom is the only women who has been awarded with this prize in 2009. Kenneth J. Arrow is the youngest recipient to date. He received the award in 1972 at the age of 51. Leonid Hurwicz is the oldest recipient. He was 90 years when he was honoured with the award in 1972.


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