The Nobel Prize is one of the most prestigious and globally recognized awards, honoring individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to humanity in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. Instituted by the will of Swedish inventor and philanthropist Alfred Nobel, the Nobel Prize has a rich history and a profound impact on advancing human knowledge and promoting peace. In this educational article, we will delve into the history of the Nobel Prize, its categories, significance, and notable laureates.
Alfred Nobel: The Man Behind the Nobel Prize
who is established Nobel prize?
Alfred Nobel, born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1833, was a polymath known for his inventions and contributions to science and industry. He held over 350 patents, with his most famous invention being dynamite. Nobel’s inventions revolutionized construction, mining, and infrastructure development.
The Genesis of the Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prize had its origins in Alfred Nobel’s desire to leave a lasting legacy for the betterment of humanity. After his death on 10 December 1896, his will revealed his wish to establish the Nobel Prizes. It came as a surprise to many because Nobel was primarily known for his inventions related to explosives.
The First Nobel Prizes: 1901
The Nobel Prizes were first awarded in 1901, in accordance with Nobel’s will. The initial categories were Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. The selection process involves committees of experts in each field who review nominations and select the laureates.
Nobel prize winner of 1901
who is first Nobel prize winner?
- Physics: Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901 for his discovery of X-rays.
- Chemistry: Jacobus Henricus van ‘t Hoff received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1901 for his discovery of the laws of chemical dynamics and osmotic pressure in solutions.
- Medicine (Physiology or Medicine): Emil von Behring was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1901 for his work on serum therapy, particularly for developing a serum against diphtheria, which was a significant breakthrough in the treatment of infectious diseases.
- Literature: Sully Prudhomme was the first Nobel laureate in Literature in 1901. He was recognized for his poetic work, which often dealt with philosophical themes.
- Peace: Jean Henry Dunant, a Swiss businessman and humanitarian, shared the first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901 with Frédéric Passy, a French economist and pacifist. Dunant was honored for his role in founding the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Geneva Convention, while Passy was recognized for his advocacy of peace and arbitration.
Categories of the Nobel Prize
how many categories of Nobel prize?
- Physics: Recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of physics.
- Chemistry: Honors exceptional achievements in the realm of chemistry.
- Physiology or Medicine: Acknowledges ground breaking discoveries in medicine or physiology.
- Literature: Celebrates exceptional literary work and contributions.
- Peace: Recognizes significant efforts in promoting peace and resolving conflicts.
- Economic Sciences: (officially known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, which was established later in 1968).
All noble prize is award distributed in Stockholm, Capital of Sweden except Peace Nobel prize. Peace Nobel prize given in Oslo, Capital of Norvey.
Amount and Currency of Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prize varies in value from year to year and is awarded in Swedish Kronor (SEK). The prize money comes from the interest accrued on Alfred Nobel’s fortune, which he left in trust to fund the awards. The Nobel Foundation, which administers the awards, raised the prize money by 10% this year to 11 million kronor (about $1 million).
The Economics Nobel Prize
In 1968, the Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden’s central bank) established the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel on the occasion of 300th celebration of establishment of Sveriges Riksbank (1668), commonly referred to as the Nobel Prize in Economics. This addition expanded the Nobel Prize to six categories. It is awarded alongside the original Nobel Prizes.
The first Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, officially known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, was awarded in 1969. The prize was established in 1968 by the Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden’s central bank) in memory of Alfred Nobel and is considered alongside the original Nobel Prizes.
The inaugural Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded in 1969 to Ragnar Frisch from Norway and Jan Tinbergen from the Netherlands.
Ragnar Frisch is a Norwegian economist who created the terms ‘microeconomics’ and ‘macroeconomics” for the first time in the year 1993.
Indian Nobel Prize Winners and Their Contributions
who is first Indian Nobel prize winner?
how many Indian who get Nobel prize?
Several Indians have received Nobel Prizes for their exceptional contributions to various fields:
1. Rabindranath Tagore (1913):
- Prize: Nobel Prize in Literature
- Contribution: Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his collection of poems and songs, “Gitanjali” (Song Offerings), which reflected his deep spiritual and philosophical insights.
2. Har Gobind Khorana (1968):
- Prize: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- Contribution: Khorana received the Nobel Prize for his work on the interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis, which laid the foundation for our understanding of how DNA codes for the synthesis of proteins.
3. Mother Teresa (1979):
- Prize: Nobel Peace Prize
- Contribution: Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work in providing care to the sick and destitute in the slums of Calcutta (now Kolkata), India, through her Missionaries of Charity organization.
4. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1983):
- Prize: Nobel Prize in Physics
- Contribution: Chandrasekhar received the Nobel Prize for his work on the theoretical structure and evolution of stars, particularly for his discovery of the Chandrasekhar limit, which is the maximum mass of a white dwarf star that can remain stable.
5. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (2009):
- Prize: Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- Contribution: Ramakrishnan was awarded the Nobel Prize for his research on the structure and function of the ribosome, a cellular structure essential for protein synthesis. His work provided insights into the molecular basis of life processes.
6. Kailash Satyarthi (2014):
- Prize: Nobel Peace Prize
- Contribution: Kailash Satyarthi shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Malala Yousafzai for their efforts to combat child labor and promote children’s right to education, especially in India and Pakistan.
7. Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer (2019):
- Prize: Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences
- Contribution: Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer were awarded the Nobel Prize for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty. Their research involved innovative methods in economics and field experiments to address issues related to poverty and development.
Here are some notable facts about the Nobel Prize:
- No Nobel in Mathematics: Contrary to popular belief, there is no Nobel Prize in Mathematics. Alfred Nobel did not include mathematics because of his personal conflicts with mathematicians, particularly Gosta Mittag-Leffler.
- International Recognition: Nobel Prizes are awarded to individuals and organizations worldwide, irrespective of their nationality. This international scope has contributed to the prizes’ global significance.
- Nobel Medals: The Nobel medals are made of solid 18-karat gold and weigh approximately 185 grams. Each medal features an image of Alfred Nobel on the obverse side and a unique design related to the specific category on the reverse side.
- Nobel Lecture: Nobel laureates are expected to deliver a Nobel Lecture, typically in Sweden or Norway, where they discuss the work that earned them the prize. These lectures are an integral part of the Nobel Prize ceremony.
- Notable Omissions: Over the years, there have been notable omissions and controversies regarding Nobel Prize recipients, including Mahatma Gandhi, who was nominated several times for the Peace Prize but never received it.
- Posthumous Awards: Nobel Prizes are typically not awarded posthumously, meaning that if a nominee passes away before the announcement, they are ineligible to receive the prize. However, there are exceptions in certain circumstances.
- Nomination and Selection: The Nobel laureates are selected through a meticulous process. Nominations are submitted by qualified individuals and organizations, and the selection committees for each category review the nominations and make recommendations to the respective Nobel Prize-awarding institutions.
- Nobel Foundation: The Nobel Prizes are administered by various organizations, including the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute (Medicine), the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, and Economic Sciences), the Swedish Academy (Literature), and the Norwegian Nobel Committee (Peace).
- Legacy: The Nobel Prizes have had a profound impact on science, literature, and peace efforts worldwide. They continue to inspire and recognize individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to humanity.
- Nomination and Selection: Nominations for the Nobel Prizes are kept secret for 50 years. This means that the nominees and the nominations themselves are only made public half a century after the award is given.
- Multiple Laureates: The Nobel Prize can be awarded to up to three laureates in each category. In some cases, the prize has been shared among multiple individuals or organizations who have made significant contributions.
- Youngest and Oldest Laureates: The youngest Nobel laureate ever is Malala Yousafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 at the age of 17. The oldest laureate is Leonid Hurwicz, who was awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in 2007 at the age of 90.
- Declined Nobel Prizes: Some individuals have declined the Nobel Prize for various reasons. For example, Jean-Paul Sartre declined the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964, as he believed that it would compromise his independence as a writer.
- Nobel Prize Medals: The Nobel Prize medals are made of 18-carat recycled gold and weigh approximately 185 grams. The medals have a diameter of 66 millimeters.
- Nobel Banquets: Nobel Prize winners are celebrated at a banquet held annually on December 10th in Stockholm, Sweden, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death. The Nobel Peace Prize banquet is held in Oslo, Norway.
- Nomination Process: Only qualified individuals and organizations can submit nominations for Nobel Prizes. These nominations are reviewed by experts in each field, and the final selection is made by respective Nobel Prize-awarding institutions.
The Nobel Prize stands as a testament to human achievement and the pursuit of excellence. Since its inception in 1901, it has celebrated outstanding contributions to science, literature, and peace, leaving a lasting legacy that continues to inspire individuals and organizations worldwide. With its rich history and diverse group of laureates, the Nobel Prize continues to be a beacon of hope for a better future.