It is that time of the year when those in academic circles are excited beyond any comparison and are eagerly awaiting the identification of their own or their colleague’s accomplishments. It is a strong held belief in the academic world that there is absolutely no better recognition for the efforts of a scientist in the modern times than the prize instituted by the last will of the scientist, engineer and inventor – Alfred Nobel.
Most notable for his invention of dynamite, Alfred Nobel amassed most of his wealth from his 355 inventions. In his last will, composed over a year before his death in 1896, he set aside almost 94% of his assets to create a series of prizes for those who bestow the “greatest benefit on mankind” in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology/medicine, literature, and peace. The prize in economics was added much later and is called the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. The very first prizes were awarded in the year 1901, while the very first prize in economics was awarded in the year 1969.
With over a century of history, the Nobel Prize awardees for the year 2015 were announced earlier this month. Here’s the list:
Physics – awarded jointly to Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald “for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass”.
Chemistry – awarded jointly to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar “for mechanistic studies of DNA repair”.
Physiology/Medicine – divided, one half jointly to William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura “for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites” and the other half to Youyou Tu “for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria”.
Peace – awarded to National Dialogue Quartet “for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011”.
Economics – awarded to Angus Deaton “for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare”.
Literature – awarded to Svetlana Alexievich “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time”.