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The Nobel Prizes (Swedish: Nobelpriset, Norwegian: Nobelprisen) are awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Swedish Academy, the Karolinska Institutet, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee to individuals and organizations who make outstanding contributions in the fields of chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine. They were established by the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel, which dictates that the awards should be administered by the Nobel Foundation. An additional prize in memory of Alfred Nobel was established in 1968 by the Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden’s central bank) for outstanding contributions to the field of economics. Each recipient, a Nobelist or laureate, receives a gold medal, a diploma, and a sum of money which is decided annually by the Nobel Foundation.
Each prize is awarded by a separate committee; the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, and Economics; the Karolinska Institute awards the Prize in Physiology or Medicine; and the Norwegian Nobel Committee awards the Prize in Peace. Each recipient receives a medal, a diploma and a monetary award that has varied throughout the years. In 1901, the recipients of the first Nobel Prizes were given 150,782 SEK, which is equal to 8,402,670 SEK in December 2017. In 2017, the laureates were awarded a prize amount of 9,000,000 SEK. The awards are presented in Stockholm in an annual ceremony on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.
In years in which the Nobel Prize is not awarded due to external events or a lack of nominations, the prize money is returned to the funds delegated to the relevant prize. The Nobel Prize was not awarded between 1940 and 1942 due to the outbreak of World War II.
Between 1901 and 2017, the Nobel Prizes and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences were awarded 585 times to 923 people and organizations. With some receiving the Nobel Prize more than once, this makes a total of 892 individuals (including 844 men, 48 women) and 24 organizations. Six Nobel laureates were not permitted by their governments to accept the Nobel Prize. Adolf Hitler forbade four Germans, Richard Kuhn (Chemistry, 1938), Adolf Butenandt (Chemistry, 1939), Gerhard Domagk (Physiology or Medicine, 1939) and Carl von Ossietzky (Peace, 1936) from accepting their Nobel Prizes. The Chinese government forbade Liu Xiaobo from accepting his Nobel Prize (Peace, 2010) and the government of the Soviet Union pressured Boris Pasternak (Literature, 1958) to decline his award. Liu Xiaobo, Carl von Ossietzky and Aung San Suu Kyi were all awarded their Nobel Prize while in prison or detention. Two Nobel laureates, Jean-Paul Sartre (Literature, 1964) and Lê Ðức Thọ (Peace, 1973), declined the award; Sartre declined the award as he declined all official honors, and Thọ declined the award due to the situation Vietnam was in at the time.
Seven laureates have received more than one prize; of the seven, the International Committee of the Red Cross has received the Nobel Peace Prize three times, more than any other. UNHCR has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize twice. Also the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to John Bardeen twice, as was the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Frederick Sanger and Karl Barry Sharpless. Two laureates have been awarded twice but not in the same field: Marie Curie (Physics and Chemistry) and Linus Pauling (Chemistry and Peace). Among the 892 Nobel laureates, 48 have been women; the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize was Marie Curie, who received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903. She was also the first person (male or female) to be awarded two Nobel Prizes, the second award being the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, given in 1911.
List of laureates
50 year secrecy rule
The Committee neither informs the media nor the candidates themselves of the names of the nominees. Insofar as specific names frequently appear in the early predictions of who will receive the award in any given year, this is either pure speculation or inside information from the person or people who submitted the nomination. After fifty years, the database of nominations maintained by the Nobel Committee is made available to the public. Statutes of the Nobel Foundation, § 10, states:
A prize-awarding body may, however, after due consideration in each individual case, permit access to material which formed the basis for the evaluation and decision concerning a prize, for purposes of research in intellectual history. Such permission may not, however, be granted until at least 50 years have elapsed after the date on which the decision in question was made.
- List of Nobel laureates by country
- List of female Nobel laureates
- List of nominees for the Nobel Prize in Literature
- List of nominees for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- List of nominees for the Nobel Prize in Physics
- List of female nominees for the Nobel Prize
- List of individuals nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize
- List of organizations nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize
- The prize was established in 1968.
- In 1938 and 1939, the government of Germany did not allow three German Nobel nominees to accept their Nobel Prizes. The three were Richard Kuhn, Nobel laureate in Chemistry in 1938; Adolf Butenandt, Nobel laureate in Chemistry in 1939; and Gerhard Domagk, Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine in 1939. They were later awarded the Nobel Prize diploma and medal, but not the money.
- In 1948, the Nobel Prize in Peace was not awarded. The Nobel Foundation's website suggests that it would have been awarded to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. However, due to his assassination earlier that year, it was left unassigned in his honor.
- In 1958, Russian-born Boris Pasternak, under pressure from the government of the Soviet Union, was forced to decline the Nobel Prize in Literature.
- In 1964, Jean-Paul Sartre refused to accept the Nobel Prize in Literature, as he had consistently refused all official honors in the past.
- In 1973, Lê Ðức Thọ declined the Nobel Peace Prize. His reason was that he felt he did not deserve it because although he helped negotiate the Paris Peace Accords (a cease-fire in the Vietnam War), there had been no actual peace agreement.
- In 2010, Liu Xiaobo was unable to receive the Nobel Peace Prize as he was sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment by the Chinese authorities.
- The 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded in 2019, as scandals within the Swedish Academy forced it to postpone the ceremony.
- "All Nobel Laureates in Physics". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
- "All Nobel Laureates in Chemistry". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
- "All Nobel Laureates in Medicine". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
- "All Nobel Laureates in Literature". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
- "All Nobel Peace Prize Laureates". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
- "All Laureates in Economics". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
- "Alfred Nobel – The Man Behind the Nobel Prize". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- "The Nobel Prize". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- "The Nobel Prize Awarders". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- "The Nobel Prize Amounts" (PDF). Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-06-15. Retrieved 2018-06-23.
- "The Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- "List of All Nobel Laureates 1942". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
- Lundestad, Geir (2001-03-15). "The Nobel Peace Prize 1901-2000". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
- "All Nobel Prizes". www.nobelprize.org. Archived from the original on 6 April 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
- "Norwegian Nobel Committee mourns Liu Xiaobo, statement by Chair Berit Reiss-Andersen". The Nobel Peace Prize. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
- "Liu Xiaobo Isn't the First Nobel Laureate Barred From Accepting His Prize". 2010-12-21. Archived from the original on 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
- "Nobel Prize Facts". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on 2017-07-08. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- "Women Nobel Laureates". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on 2008-09-28. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
- "Nomination and selection of Laureates in Economic Sciences". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
- Tønnesson, Øyvind (December 1, 1999). "Mahatma Gandhi, the Missing Laureates". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on January 9, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
Later, there have been speculations that the committee members could have had another deceased peace worker than Gandhi in mind when they declared that there was "no suitable living candidate", namely the Swedish UN envoy to Palestine, Count Bernadotte, who was murdered in September 1948. Today, this can be ruled out; Bernadotte had not been nominated in 1948. Thus it seems reasonable to assume that Gandhi would have been invited to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize had he been alive one more year.
- "The Nobel Peace Prize 2010 - Presentation Speech". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on November 5, 2011. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
- Henley, Jon (10 October 2019). "Two Nobel literature prizes to be awarded after sexual assault scandal". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
- "Nomination and selection of Nobel Peace Prize laureates". NobelPrize.org. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
- "Confidentiality - Nobel Peace Prize". www.nobelpeaceprize.org. 2021-08-30. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
- Official website of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
- Official website of the Nobel Foundation
- Downloadable Database of Nobel Laureates