The Nobel Prize: Winning Ideas that Changed the World for 116 years
By Srimal Fernando Global Editor The Diplomatic Society
Photo: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos poses with the medal and diploma
In the Nobel Prizes 116 year history, the Prize has been awarded to over 900 laureates. The long, distinguished history of Nobel Prize awards dates back to 1895 based on the will of Alfred Nobel. In honor of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish Academy, Nobel committee of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Nobel committee of Karolinska Institutet and Norwegian Nobel Committee annually awards the Noble Prizes for outstanding contributions in humanity in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and for work in peace.
Over the years since its inception in 1901 Nobel Peace Prize have been given 97 times to 130 Nobel Laureates (Nobelprize.org 2016). As of 2016, the award comprises a18-karat gold medal, a diploma and a cash award of about 8.0 million Swedish kronors per full Nobel Prize (Nobelprize.org 2016).
The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his efforts to end his country’s 52-year conflict with left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). In his acceptance speech at the ceremony held at the Oslo City Hall on 10th December 2016 Colombian President Santos said “Ladies and gentlemen, there is one less war in the world, and it is the war in Colombia. Yet when a terrible war engulfs a country or a region, reconciling conflicting communities is the most difficult thing to do to bring about a peaceful settlement.”
In this context in the first hundred years of awarding the Nobel Peace Prize, 12 recipients of the prestigious Nobel Prize were from Asia and 6 were from Africa. Mother Teresa, Aung San Suu Kyi, Malala Yousafzai, and Muhammad Yunus are notable laureates from Asia.
The Nobelprize.org records show that the Nobel Prize and Prize in Economic Sciences has been presented to women just 49 times between 1901 and 2016. The Nobel Prize awards have taken many different forms over the years. Looking back into the history of Nobel Prizes the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had received the prestigious award three times and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize twice.
Photo: (l-r) PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat ,Israeli Foreign minister Shimon Peres and Israeli Prime minister Yitzhak Rabin
In the past the Nobel Peace prize was shared by three Laureates. In 1994 the Nobel Peace prize was awarded jointly to Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East.
The Nobel Foundation has also published some prestigious books such as Les Prix Nobel since 1901 and the Nobel Prizes. In addition the Nobel Center and the Nobel Museum in the heart of Stockholm and the Nobel Peace Center opened in the heart of Oslo since 2005, are centers of knowledge and an ideal place to understand Alfred Nobel’s contribution to the Global community through this well recognized award.
The Nobel Peace Prize concert will be a part of an annual tribute series held to the year’s Nobel Peace Prize Laureates performed by brilliant artists around the world.
In 1968 the Bank of Sweden, established the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel rewarding to outstanding persons rather than specific achievements. The Nobel Prize for economics has been awarded to 78 laureates by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences since inception (Nobelprize.org 2016). In 1988, Amartya Sen, emeritus professor at Harvard University was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his contributions to welfare economics.
Till now there have been 211 winners of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded by the Stockholm Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet. Sir Alexander Fleming discovered antibiotic penicillin that saved millions of lives worldwide. Of the 1945 Nobel Prize for Medicine Sir Alexander Fleming, along with Sir Howard Florey and Ernst Chain received the prestigious award for their contribution to medicine. Over the last 116 years the Nobel Prize has made a significant enduring positive impact on humanity and has encouraged the continuation and expansion that has led to new avenues of individual, team or community exploration to contribute to global progress.