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NOBEL PRIZE—HISTORY, FACTS AND WINNERS


Alfred Nobel was an inventor, entrepreneur, scientist and businessman who also wrote poetry and drama, known for inventing dynamite. He signed his last will in Paris on November 27, 1895, leaving much of his wealth to the establishment of the prize. He specified that the bulk of his fortune should be divided into five parts and to be used for prizes in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace to “those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.

Since 1901, the Nobel Prize has been honouring men and women from around the world for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and for work in peace. Economic Sciences was later on added to the list in the memory of Alfred Nobel.

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The Nobel Prize in Physics

At the end of the nineteenth century, many people considered physics as the foremost of the sciences, and perhaps Alfred Nobel saw it this way as well. Physics was the prize area which Alfred mentioned first in his will from 1895. His own research was also closely tied to physics. The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.

Winners of Nobel prize in physics 2018 are Arthur Ashkin for the optical tweezers and their application to biological systemsGérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Chemistry was the most important science for Alfred Nobel’s own work. Chemistry was the second prize area that Nobel mentioned in his will. The development of his inventions as well as the industrial processes he employed were based upon chemical knowledge. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.

Winners of Nobel prize in chemistry 2018 are Frances H. Arnold for the directed evolution of enzymes, George P. Smith and Sir Gregory P. Winter for the phage display of peptides and antibodies.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Alfred Nobel had an active interest in medical research. Physiology or medicine was the third prize area Nobel mentioned in his will. Alfred came into contact with Swedish physiologist Jöns Johansson around 1890 through Karolinska Institutet. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded by The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Winners of Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018 are James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.

Nobel Prize in Literature

Alfred Nobel had broad cultural interests. During his early youth, he developed his literary interests which lasted throughout his life. Literature was the fourth prize area Nobel mentioned in his will. During the last years of his life, he tried his hand as an author and began writing fiction. The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded by The Swedish Academy, Stockholm, Sweden.

This year’s Nobel Prize awards were announced with no Literature Prize for the first time in 70 years because of a #MeToo scandal. It is the first time the prize has been postponed since William Faulkner’s 1949 honour was awarded in 1950.

Nobel Peace Prize            

Alfred Nobel showed a big interest in social issues and was engaged in the peace movement. His acquaintance with Bertha von Suttner, who was a driving force in the international peace movement in Europe and later awarded the Peace Prize, influenced his views on peace. Peace was the fifth and final prize area that Alfred mentioned in his will. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by a committee elected by The Norwegian Parliament, Stortinget.

Winners of Nobel peace prize 2018 are Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences is based on a donation received by the Nobel Foundation in 1968 from Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden) on the occasion of the Bank’s 300th anniversary. The Prize in Economic Sciences is awarded by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden, according to the same principles as for the Nobel Prizes that have been awarded since 1901.

Winners of Nobel prize in Economic Sciences 2018 are William D. Nordhaus for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis and Paul M. Romer for integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis.

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