Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Nobel Prizes (2016)

The Winners

Past Winners: The Nobel Prizes were created by Alfred Nobel for promoting outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and for work in peace. In his will, he dictated that most of his fortune should be used, the Nobel Prize organization says, for prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind.”
Image Credit & Source: Nobelprize.org


Each year at this time (i.e., early October), Nobel Prizes are awarded, still considered the most prestigious international award in recognition of individual achievement; these awards were stipulated in the will of Alfred Nobel [1833–1896], the Swedish industrialist and inventor. The first ceremony was held in 1901. There are six prizes, the one for Economic Sciences was added in 1968. The winners this year, their ages in parenthesis, in each category and in order of announcement, are as follows:

Medicine or Physiology (Monday October 3rd): Yoshinori Ohsumi (71), the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet says, “for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy.” Yoshinori. Ohsumi is born in Japan and conducted his research at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan.
For more, see [NYT].

Physics (Tuesday October 4th):  David J. Thouless (82), F. Duncan M. Haldane (65) and J. Michael Kosterlitz (74), the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences says, “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.” The trio were all born in Britain, but conducted their research in the United States. David J. Thouless is Emeritus Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; F. Duncan M. Haldane, is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics at Princeton University, NJ, USA; and J. Michael Kosterlitz,is the  Harrison E. Farnsworth Professor of Physics at Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.
For more, see [Nature].

Chemistry (Wednesday October 5th): Jean-Pierre Sauvage (71), Sir J Fraser Stoddart (74) and Bernard L Feringa (65)the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences says,“for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.” Jean-Pierre Sauvage is Professor Emeritus at the University of Strasbourg, France; Sir J. Fraser Stoddart is Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA; and Bernard L. Feringa is Professor in Organic Chemistry at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Suuvage is born in France; Stoddart in Scotland; and Feringa in the Netherlands.
For more, see [ScientAmer].

Peace (Friday October 7th): Juan Manuel Santos (65), the president of Columbia, the Norwegian Nobel Committee says, “for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end, a war that has cost the lives of at least 220 000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people. The award should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace, and to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process. This tribute is paid, not least, to the representatives of the countless victims of the civil war.” It is important to note that Colombians voted no to the deal that President Santos signed with the Marxist rebels.
For more, see [WaPo].

Economic Sciences (Monday October 10th): Oliver Hart (68) and Bengt Holmström (67), the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences says, “for their contributions to contract theory.” Oliver Hart is Andrew E. Furer Professor of Economics at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, USA; and Bengt Holmström is Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics, and Professor of Economics and Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA, USA. Hart is born in Britain; and Holmström in Finland.
For more, see [BostonGlobe].

Literature (Thursday October 13th): Bob Dylan (75), the Swedish Academy says, “for having created new poetic expressions with the great American song tradition.“ Dylan is an American and the singer-songwriter is considered the voice of his generation. Although his work does not fit within the conventional boundaries of literature, it seems to have, nevertheless, inspired the committee to include him as a poet and his work as poetry. It might also speak of the power (and necessity) of passionate words at a time like we are witnessing and living in now.
For more, see [NYT].

******************
The United States (with 336) and Britain (with 117) continue to lead in the number of prizes won, (as of 2015), having the most Nobel laureates. Germany (with 98), France (with 62) and Sweden (with 32) round out the top five. Canada, the nation where I reside, is listed in the top ten and ranked ninth with 19 Nobel Laureates.

Quick Facts 
[from NobelPrize.org]
  • Awards: 573 Prizes to 900 Laureates
  • Prize categories: 6
  • Awarded women: 48
  • Awarded organizations: 23
  • Multiple Nobel Laureates: 6
  • Average age of a Laureate: 59
  • Age of youngest Laureate: 17
  • Age of oldest Laureate: 90
The awards ceremony will be held on December 10th, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death. The award consists of a medal, a personal diploma, and a cash prize of 8 million Swedish kroner (SEK). or about 1.2 million (Cdn). The ceremony is held concurrently in Oslo and Stockholm, the Nobel Prize site says: “Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine and Literature are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, while the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway. Since 1969 an additional prize has been awarded at the ceremony in Stockholm, The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, which was established in 1968 on the occasion of the Riksbank's 300th anniversary.”

******************
For more, go to [NobelPrize]