The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in several categories – Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, Economic science and Physiology or Medicine by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, or scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist, engineer and industrialist Alfred Nobel established the five Nobel prizes in 1895. The prizes were first awarded in 1901. The prizes are widely regarded as the most prestigious awards internationally available in their respective fields.
Physiology or Medicine
Drs. Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice on Monday received the prize for their discovery of the hepatitis C virus. The Nobel committee said the three scientists had “made possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives.” Their research paved the way for not only making the highly sensitive blood tests for the virus available but also in the rapid development of antiviral drugs to treat hepatitis C virus.
The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and prize money of 10 million Swedish kronor (over $1,118,000), courtesy of a bequest left 124 years ago by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel. The amount was increased recently to adjust for inflation.
Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez was awarded the Nobel Prize 2020 for their discoveries that have improved understanding of the universe, including work on black holes. The prize will be shared in half by Roger Penrose and the other half will be shared equally by Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez.
Roger Penrose invented ingenious mathematical methods to explore Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity to show that the theory leads to the formation of black holes, those monsters in time and space that capture everything that enters them.
Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez discovered that an invisible and extremely heavy object governs the orbits of stars at the centre of our galaxy. A supermassive black hole is the only currently known explanation.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was jointly awarded on Wednesday to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna, for developing the tools to edit DNA. This isthe first time a Nobel science prize has gone to a women-only team, for their work on the development of Crispr-Cas9, a method for genome editing.
Their discovery, known as Crispr-Cas9 “genetic scissors”, is a way of making specific and precise changes to the DNA contained in living cells. They will split the prize money of 10 million kronor ($1,110,400).
The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded on Thursday to Louise Glück, one of America’s most celebrated poets, “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.” Her poem collections include “The Triumph of Achilles” (1985) and “Ararat” (1990) 2006 collection “Averno” (2006) and “Snowdrops”.
She is the fourth woman to win a Nobel Prize, after Olga Tokarczuk, Svetlana Alexievich and Alice Munro — and only the 16th since the Nobel prizes were first awarded in 1901.
There were as many as 318 candidates nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, which is the fourth largest number in the history of the prize.
The Nobel Peace Prize 2020 was awarded to the World Food Programme by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict. David Beasley, is currently the Executive Director of the World Food Programme. The UN entity World Food Programme, which provided food to 100 million people last year, was handed out this honor — the 101st time (Nobel Peace Prize).
Incidentally, for the first time in 1901, Nobel Peace Prize was shared by Henry Dunant, founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross, with Frédéric Passy, a leading international pacifist of the time.
The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, officially known as The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is awarded to Stanford University professors – Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson — who were recognized “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.” They designed the auction the FCC used to sell radio spectrum to wireless telephone companies, raising more than $120 billion for something the government used to give away for free.
Milgrom and Wilson’s work “benefit/s sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world.” Auctions are now used to price all kinds of things including Internet ads, wholesale electricity, fishing permits and carbon pollution credits.