15 facts you probably did not know about the Nobel Prize

Of the October 4-11 Announcement of the winners of the Nobel Prizes, so a former member of the committee in charge of choosing winners and professor at Tec de Monterrey tells some facts and curiosities of this recognition that perhaps you did not know.

Bertil Andersson, who it was President of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry on 1997, it is teacher STAR, model that leads to experts to teach several campuses at the same time using telepresence.

The Swedish academic shared to CONNECT some little known facts about this award.

1. Alfred Nobel, creator of dynamite, inspired them

Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1833. He was an engineer and inventor who built bridges and buildings, and who patented the explosive compounds of the dynamite and nitroglycerin.

He wrote poetry and theater. Nobel was also very interested in social and peace-related issues. These interests were reflected in the awards that bear his name. He passed away in 1896.

2. The awards were created thanks to your will

Alfred Nobel had no children, so he decided that his fortune would not be left in the hands of their relatives and in their will asked to be will create a prize from various categories.

In this way, your fortune was invested and destined to the creation of Nobel Prizes, which recognizes from 1901 research in the categories of Physical, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Peace and later on Economy.

They have been awarded 923 people and 27 organizations Come in 1901 and 2019, some of them awarded more than once, for a total of 919 individuals and 24 unique organizations awarded.

3. This award does not discriminate nationalities

Bertil Andersson mentioned that the swedish king got angry when Alfred Nobel asked in his will that will not be taken into account the nationality to get a prize.

“It is my wish that the award ceremony does not take into consideration the nationality of the candidates, but the most valuable whoever receives the prize, Scandinavian or not “, it reads in the will of Nobel.

“It was a stage of nationalism and the king was very angry with this donor to give money to foreignAndersson commented.

“It is my wish that in the award ceremony the nationality of the candidates is not taken into consideration, but that the most valuable are those who receive the award, whether they are Scandinavian or not.”

4. Only 5% of the winners are women

Even though the women They were included in the awards since the early years, only 54 times women have been awarded 1901 and 2019.

The first woman in getting a Nobel it was Marie Curie on 1903 on Physical for his investigation of the radiation.

Marie also received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry later in 1911 for the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, being the Only Woman to receive it in 2 occasions on different categories.

Nobel Prize Ceremony
Photo: AFP

5. The Nobel Peace Prize exists thanks to a woman

Andersson mention that Alfred Nobel I was afraid that the world out of destroyed for his invention of the nitroglycerine and the dynamite.

So worried for the topic and Influenced by Countess Bertha von Suttner, from Austria, added peace like a category from his prize.

Von Suttner it was writer and peace promoter and it was the first woman what did he get Peace Nobel on 1905 and the second woman in getting a Nobel after Marie Curie.

6. There are 3 Mexicans who have obtained a Nobel

The first mexican in getting the Nobel Peace Prize it was Alfonso Garcia Robles on 1982, for participating in some of the sessions for the disarm on the UN.

The second mexican in getting a Nobel Prize it was Octavio Paz on 1990 who won the award in the category of Literature.

The chemist Mario Molina would be the third Mexican to obtain this award when in nineteen ninety five received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

7. The youngest and the older to win it

The activist Pakistani Malala Yousafzai is the younger person to receive an award when their 17 years on 2014 got the Nobel Peace Prize.

Andersson also comments that the oldest person to get a Nobel Prize is John goodenough who in 2019 got the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to the 97 years old.

Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist
Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist. Photo: AFP

8. It is believed that there is no Nobel Prize in mathematics because of a love spite

Although There is not a Official register this history, the teacher Andersson mentioned that there is belief that one bride Alfred Nobel is the reason about what Does not exist a prize for the math.

“It was said that (Alfred) had one bride when was young and that she ran away with a mathematician and he was upset for the rest of his life and that’s why mathematicians wouldn’t get their money. “Andersson commented.

9. The Nobel Prize in Economics did not exist in the beginning

At will by Nobel only appeared 5 categories: Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature and Peace.

However the Swedish Central Bank created the Nobel Prize in Economics which was delivered by first time on 1969 and has been accepted What one more of the prizes by the Nobel Foundation.

“The Nobel Prize in Economics not originally a Nobel Prize but rather a prize to memory by Alfred Nobel “, Andersson said.

Nobel Prize Gold Medal

10. No Nobel prizes are awarded to deceased persons

exist various requirements for the reception of the Nobel Prize, such as that no there may be more than 3 people in a category.

One of those requirements from 1974 is that the prize I know deliver the winners alive therefore, a deceased person cannot be nominated.

However the Nobel Prize in Medicine from 2011 Ralph Steinman passed away 3 days before the award so it was delivered from posthumous way.

11. Winners receive a financial prize

The winners from each category get SEK 9 million, which are equivalent to more than $ 19.3 million pesos.

In addition, the winners receive a unique diploma created by Swedish and Norwegian artists and calligraphers along with a medal from 18 karat gold recycling handmade.

Nobel prize medal and certificate

12. On 49 occasions the prizes were not awarded

Some award categories have been discontinued a total of 49 times.

The most of the times I know suspended it was during the First World War from 1914 to 1918 and the Second World War from 1939 to 1945.

13. The process to choose winners takes almost a year

The January 31 each year approximately 400 nominations for the prizes, which are revised by selection committees.

“The winners they are not decided at a dinner party. It’s a long process that lasts one yearAndersson said.

Are nominations They may be performed solely for previous winners, scandinavian teachers of the matter, representatives of centers of excellence and internationally leading scientists.

14. Decline to receive the award

The French Jean-Paul Sartre, declined in 1964 to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1973, Le Duc Tho, from Vietnam, refused to receive the Peace Nobel.

In the 30s, Adolfo Hitler banned the germans Richard Kuhn, Adolf butenandt and Gerhard Domagk, to receive the Nobel, the first two in Chemistry, and the last in Medicine.

In 1958 Boris Pasternak, initially agreed to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, but was later forced by the government of the Soviet Union to reject the award.

15. Receive award under arrest

The German journalist Carl von Ossietzky, the Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi and the chinese activist Liu Xiaobo they were awarded while in prison.

The importance of awards

For Neil Hernandez, Research Director of the Tecnológico de Monterrey, says that Nobel Prizes they recognize the work of scientists who seek the benefit of the human being.

“They are a stimulus for any researcher who dedicates his life to science and the generation of knowledge.

He recalled that in 2020, during the 50th Research and Development Congress, the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was present at the Tec de Monterrey, Ada Yonath, who attracted the recognition of teachers and students attending the same.


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15 facts you probably did not know about the Nobel Prize

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