The Nobel Prizes are being announced this week.
Nobel Prize season is upon us once again. Every October, committees in Sweden and Norway name laureates in a variety of prizes in the sciences, literature and economics, as well as peace work.
In total, six prizes are awarded, each recognizing an individual’s or organisation’s groundbreaking contribution in a specific field. Prizes are given for physiology or medicine, physics, chemistry, economic science, literature and peace work.
During the pandemic, the Nobels made adjustments. In 2020 and 2021, some events were canceled in favor of a digital ceremony for the winners, and the Oslo ceremony for the peace prize was smaller than in most years, with a limited audience. This year, laureates will receive their Nobel Prize medals and diplomas in Stockholm in December, the organization said, and winners from the previous two years will also be invited.
Here is a quick guide to this year’s prizes.
This year’s winners, so far.
One prize will be announced each day this week, and again on Monday, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. Eastern time. Announcements are made in Stockholm and Oslo, and will be streamed live on the official digital channels of the Nobel Prize.
Physiology or medicine
On Monday, Svante Pääbo was awarded the year’s first prize, for physiology or medicine. Dr. Pääbo, a Swedish geneticist, won for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution.
He won for his work in retrieving genetic material from 40,000-year-old bones, producing a complete Neanderthal genome and initiating the field of ancient DNA studies.
On Tuesday, the prize for physics was shared by three men, Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger, for their work in quantum technology.Their experiments have “shaken the very foundation of how we interpret measurements,” the Nobel Committee for Physics said.
On Wednesday, Carolyn R. Bertozzi Morten Meldal and K. Barry Sharpless shared the award for chemistry for the development of click chemistry and bio-orthogonal chemistry.
The three chemists have been working independently since 2000 to create functional molecules that have “led to a revolution in how chemists think about linking molecules together,” the Nobel committee said.
Dr. Bertozzi is the eighth woman to be awarded the prize, and Dr. Sharpless is the fifth scientist to be honored with two Nobels, the committee noted.
What awards are up next?
The award for literature will be announced on Thursday.
The award for peace work will be announced on Friday.
The award for economic science will be announced on October. 10.
What do the winners receive?
Laureates will receive a Nobel Prize diploma, a Nobel Prize medal and a document detailing the Nobel Prize amount, which this year amounts to 10 million Swedish krona, or about $900,000 in current exchange rates.
Who were last year’s winners?
Physiology or Medicine
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian “for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch.”
The pair made breakthrough discoveries that launched intense research activities that in turn led to a rapid increase in our understanding of how our nervous system senses heat, cold, and mechanical stimuli.
Dr. Julius is a professor of physiology at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Patapoutian is a molecular biologist and neuroscientist at Scripps Research in La Jolla, Calif.
The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three scientists whose work “laid the foundation of our knowledge of the Earth’s climate and how humanity influences it.”
The winners were Syukuro Manabe of Princeton University, Klaus Hasselmann of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, and Giorgio Parisi of the Sapienza University of Rome.
The work of all three is essential to understanding how the Earth’s climate is changing and how human behavior is influencing those changes.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan for their development of a new tool to build molecules, work that has spurred advances in pharmaceutical research and lessened the impact of chemistry on the environment.
Their work, while unseen by consumers, is an essential part in many leading industries and is crucial for research.
Dr. List is a German chemist and director at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany. Dr. MacMillan is a Scottish chemist and a professor at Princeton University, where he also headed the department of chemistry from 2010 to 2015.
The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Abdulrazak Gurnah for “his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.”
Mr. Gurnah was born in Zanzibar, Tanzania, in 1948, but now lives in Britain. He is the first African to win the award — considered the most prestigious in world literature — in almost two decades.
Mr. Gurnah’s 10 novels include “Memory of Departure,” “Pilgrims Way” and “Dottie,” which all deal with the immigrant experience in Britain; “Paradise,” shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1994, about a boy in an East African country scarred by colonialism; and “Admiring Silence” about a young man who leaves Zanzibar for England, where he marries and becomes a teacher.
Maria Ressa is a co-founder of Rappler, a digital media company for investigative journalism. Dmitri A. Muratov has defended the freedom of speech in Russia for decades.Credit…Rappler, via Associated Press, left; Evgeny Feldman/Reuters
The journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitri A. Muratov were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which the Nobel Committee described as a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.
The two were recognized for “their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia,” with the committee noting that they were part of a broader struggle to protect press freedoms.
Ms. Ressa — a Fulbright scholar, who was also named a Time magazine Person of the Year in 2018 for her crusading work against disinformation — has been a constant thorn in the side of Rodrigo Duterte, her country’s authoritarian president.
Mr. Muratov has defended freedom of speech in Russia for decades, working under increasingly difficult conditions. Within hours of news of the award breaking, the Kremlin stepped up its crackdown on critics, labeling nine journalists and activists as “foreign agents,” a designation that imposes onerous requirements on them.
This year, there were 329 candidates for the peace prize, the Nobel committee said. Here is how those nominations work.
David Card, Joshua D. Angrist and Guido W. Imbens received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
Mr. Card has made a career of studying unintended experiments to examine economic questions — like whether raising the minimum wage causes people to lose jobs.
Mr. Angrist and Mr. Imbens have developed research tools that help economists use real-life situations to test big theories, like how additional education affects earnings.
All three winners are based in the United States. Mr. Card, who was born in Canada, works at the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Angrist, born in the United States, is at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Mr. Imbens, born in the Netherlands, is at Stanford University.
Source: The New York Times