The Nobel Prize medal for
Physiology (or Medicine)
The Nobel Prizes (pronounced /noubell/) are awarded annually to people who have done outstanding research, invented groundbreaking techniques or equipment or made outstanding contributions to society. The prizes were instituted by the final will of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist, and the inventor of dynamite.
The first ceremony to award the Nobel Prizes in literature, physics, chemistry, and medicine was held at the Old Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm in 1901; beginning in 1902, the prizes have been formally awarded by the King of Sweden. King Oscar II did not initially approve of awarding grand national prizes to foreigners, but is said to have changed his mind after realizing the publicity value of the prizes for the country.
The Prizes are awarded at a formal ceremony held annually on December 10, the date that Alfred Nobel passed away. However, the names of the laureates are typically announced already in October, by the different committees and instutitions that serve as selection boards for the prizes.
A large monetary award is included with the Nobel Prizes, currently about 10 million Swedish Kronor (slightly more than one million Euros). This was originally intended to allow the persons to continue working or researching without the pressures of raising money. (In actual fact, most prize winners have been too old to be able to do that when getting the prize, and many receivers of the Nobel Prize of Literature have been silenced by it, even if younger.)
Prizes have been awarded annually since 1901 for achievements in:
- Physics (decided by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences)
- Chemistry (decided by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences)
- Physiology or Medicine (decided by the Karolinska Institute)
- Literature (decided by the Swedish Academy)
- Peace (decided by a committee appointed by the Norwegian Parliament)
- Economics (decided by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences)
Other prizesSome fields without a Nobel prize have instituted prizes of their own which are not as well-known: the Polar Prize in music, the Fields Medal in mathematics, the Turing Award in computing, the Wollaston Medal in geology, the Schock Prizes in logic and philosophy, mathematics, visual arts and musical arts. The Kyoto Prizes are awarded in three categories: Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences, and Arts and Philosophy. The Right Livelihood Awards (also known as "Alternative Nobel Prizes") are awarded to persons who have made important contributions in areas such as environmental protection, peace, human rights, health etc. The humorous IgNobel Prize is a parody which annually honors research "that cannot or should not be repeated".