Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young won the 9-million-kronor (around $1.1 million) prize for their work on genetic mechanisms behind circadian rhythms.
On 27 November 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament and gave the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature and Peace.
The word “Laureate” signifies the laurel wreath that was awarded to winners of athletic competitions and poetic meets in Ancient Greece. According to Greek mythology, god Apollo is represented wearing a laurel wreath on his head. It is a circular crown made of branches and leaves of the bay laurel.
The youngest ever winner of a Nobel prize is, 2014 Peace Prize awardee Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan at 17 years. By winning the Nobel Peace prize at this tender age along with India’s Kailash Satyarthi, Ms. Yousafzai beat the previous record of Lawrence Bragg.
At the Nobel Award ceremony on December 10, the Laureates receive three things: a Nobel Diploma, a Nobel Medal and a document confirming the Nobel Prize amount. Each of the Nobel Diploma is a unique work of art. It is created by the foremost Swedish and Norwegian artists and calligraphers. The Nobel Medals are handmade with careful precision and are forged with 18 carat green gold, plated with 24 carat gold. The Nobel Prize amount is set at Swedish kronor (SEK) 9.0 million per full Nobel Prize.
Some interesting facts about the Nobel prizes are:
- The average age of all Nobel Laureates in is 59 years.
- Most common birthday month of all the Nobel Laureates is June.
- Since 1901, a few times prizes have not been awarded, mostly during World War I (1914-1918) and II (1939-1945).
- Leonid Hurwicz has the honour of being the oldest Nobel recipient at the age of 90 for Economics in 2007.
- Till now, 48 women have won the Nobel while two Laureates declined the prize.
- Linus Pauling has the distinction of being the only person to have been awarded unshared Nobel Prizes twice— the 1954 Prize in Chemistry and the 1962 Peace Prize.
Nobel in his will wrote, “It is my express wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be Scandinavian or not.” Since 1901, Prize has been awarded by a committee of five, appointed by the Norwegian Parliament Storting according to Alfred Nobel’s will.
According to the rules, there can be no more than three Laureates in a category every year. The Norwegian Nobel Committee begins the selection process by inviting nominations which can be submitted by February 1 each year.
These people are entitled to nominate candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize:
- Present and past members of the Nobel Committee and advisers at the Nobel Institute.
- Members of national assemblies and governments.
- Members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
- Members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Court of Justice.
- Members of the Commission of the Permanent International Peace Bureau.
- Members of the Institut de Droit International and present university professors of law, political science, history and philosophy.
- Holders of the Nobel Peace Prize can also nominate.
After reviewing their qualifications, a shortlist of the candidates is prepared. The Laureate’s name is often declared on a Friday in mid-October at the Nobel Institute building and the award is presented annually on the day Alfred Nobel died in 1896, December 10.