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Nobel season is here: Five things to know about the prizes | Explainer News

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Norway, while other prizes such as literature and economics are awarded in Sweden.

The beginning of October marks the Nobel Prize season. Over the course of six days, the names of the winners of six awards from around the world will be announced, leading to a number of new faces being added to the world’s most elite roster of scientists, writers, economists and human rights leaders. .

This year’s Nobel season kicks off on Monday with the prize in medicine, followed by daily announcements: physics on Tuesday, chemistry on Wednesday, and literature on Thursday. The Nobel Peace Prize for 2022 will be announced on Friday and the prize for economics on October 10.

Here are five other things to know about the coveted prizes:

Who Created the Nobel Prizes?

  • The prizes for medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace were instituted by the will of Alfred Nobel, a wealthy Swedish industrialist and inventor of dynamite. The first awards were presented in 1901, five years after Nobel’s death.
  • Each prize is worth 10 million crowns (nearly $900,000) and is presented with a diploma and a gold medal on December 10, the date of Nobel’s death in 1896.
  • The Prize for Economics – officially known as the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel – was created not by Nobel, but by the Swedish Central Bank in 1968.
  • Between 1901 and 2021, the Nobel Prizes and the Prize in Economic Sciences were awarded 609 times.

Who knows who will win and why?

  • The Nobel statute forbids the judges from discussing their deliberations for 50 years. So it will probably be a while before we know for sure how judges made their pick for 2022 and who was on their shortlists.
  • The judges do their best to avoid hints about the winners before the announcements, but sometimes something comes out. Bookies in Europe sometimes offer opportunities for potential Nobel Peace Prize and Literature winners.

Who can nominate a candidate?

  • Thousands of people around the world are eligible to submit nominations for the Nobel Prizes.
  • Among them are college professors, lawmakers, former Nobel laureates and the committee members themselves.
  • Although the nominations have been kept secret for 50 years, those who submit them sometimes make their suggestions publicly available, most notably for the Nobel Peace Prize.
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What about the Norwegian connection?

  • The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Norway, while the other prizes are awarded in Sweden. That’s how Alfred Nobel wanted it.
  • His exact reasons are unclear, but during his lifetime Sweden and Norway joined a union, which was dissolved in 1905. At times, relations were tense between the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, which manages the prize money, and the fiercely independent Peace Prize Committee in Oslo.

What does it take to win a Nobel Prize?

  • Patience, for example. Scientists often have to wait decades for their work to be recognized by the Nobel judges, who want to make sure every breakthrough will stand the test of time.
  • That’s a departure from Nobel’s will, which states that the awards “should bestow upon those who in the previous year have brought the greatest benefit to mankind.” The Peace Prize Committee is the only one that regularly rewards achievements of the previous year.
  • According to Nobel’s wish, that prize should go to “the person who will have done the most or the best work for brotherhood among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for holding and promoting peace congresses.”
    INTERACTIVE - Nobel Prize Categories


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