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The next edition of The Nobel Prizes is neither spared from the consequences of the pandemic. The ceremony, just like so many other large and worldwide events, has been adapted to a new format. The organizers of the foundation have decided that the announcement of the prizes will be broadcasted live from the nobelprize.org platform.
The Nobel Foundation has also informed that this year the traditional gala banquet will not take place in December as usual.
This event is attended by the winners of the prestigious awards in the great hall of the Stockholm City Hall. The Swedish royal family and around 1.300 people more accompany the awardees.
The director of the organization, Lars Heikensten, pointed out that “It is a very special year and everyone must make sacrifices and adapt to the new circumstances”.
But the awards will continue and the announcement of the winners will be made on the scheduled dates. Between 5 and 12 October the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics will be awarded.
Prize Announcement Dates
All the announcements will be streamed live at nobelprize.org, as follows:
- PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE – Monday, 5th October
- PHYSICS – Tuesday, 6th October
- CHEMISTRY – Wednesday, 7th October
- LITERATURE – Thursday, 8th October
- PEACE – Friday, 9th October
- THE SVERIGES RIKSBANK PRIZE IN ECONOMIC SCIENCES IN MEMORY OF ALFRED NOBEL – Monday, 12th October
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A Brief History
The Nobel Prizes were established in 1895 as the last will of the Swedish scientist and inventor Alfred Nobel, and began to be awarded in 1901. Nobel became famous as the inventor of dynamite and also registered 255 other patents.
The prize awarded to the winners is 9 million Swedish crowns (one million dollars). They will receive also a gold medal with Alfred Nobel’s image on it and an exclusive diploma.
Alfred Nobel also indicated in his last will the institutions that had to award the prizes: those of Physics and Chemistry by the Swedish Academy of Sciences; that of Physiology or Medicine by the Stockholm Carolino Institute; that of Literature by the Stockholm Academy; the one for the work of Peace by a commission of five individuals chosen by The Norway Parliament.
And he also expressed his wish that nationality should not be taken into account when awarding the prizes, so that the most worthy, whether Scandinavians or not, would receive them.
Alfred Nobel did not inscribe the Nobel Prize in Economics in his will. Years later, in 1968, the Swedish Central Bank created this prize and they started to award it in 1969.
One year later after signing his will, on 10 December 1896, Alfred Nobel died at his residence in San Remo and this date will always be linked to the history of Nobel Prizes. The award ceremony gala is held precisely on that day to commemorate the death of the creator and mentor of these awards.
Occasions without Nobel Prizes
On several occasions, the prizes have not been awarded and relevant events have affected both the celebration of the banquet and the presentation of the prizes. The cancellation of several of these occurred during the two world wars (1914-1918 and 1939-1945). In 1939 the Nobel Peace Prize was not awarded. From 1940 to 1942, due to the German occupation of Norway, none was awarded. The following year, in 1943, all but the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Nobel Peace Prize could be awarded.
The last time the banquet was not held was in 1956, in order to avoid the invitation of the Soviet ambassador at that time. This was motivated by the repression of the Budapest insurrection that had begun that year.
This was the last time the dinner was cancelled, until this complex year of 2020 with the pandemic crisis.
So far, 950 Nobel prizes have been awarded throughout history. Of these, 923 were individuals and 27 organizations. However, of the 923 winners, only 54 were women.