Everything you need to know about the Nobel Prize Belarusian journalist and writer Svetlana Alexievich the 2015 Nobel literature winner, center, signs autographs after her news conference in Minsk, Belarus, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize in literature Thursday, for works that the prize judges called "a monument to suffering and courage." (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Everything you need to know about the Nobel Prize
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The beginning of October means Nobel Prize time, when committees in Stockholm and Oslo announce the winners of what many consider the most prestigious awards in the world.
 
This year's Nobel season kicked off Oct. 5 with the medicine award being announced for the 106th time. The prize in medicine was awarded jointly to William C. Campbell and Satoshi ?Omura and Youyou Tu.
 
Daily announcements followed this week with physics on Oct. 6 being awarded to Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald, chemistry on Oct. 7 being awarded to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar and literature on Oct. 8 being awarded to Svetlana Alexievich. 

The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize was announced today, Oct. 9 and the prize was awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet. Finally, the economics award is set to be announced on Oct. 12.
 
Each prize is worth 8 million Swedish kronor, which is $960,000, and will be handed out with a diploma and gold medal on Dec. 10.
 
The prizes in medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace were established by the will of Alfred Nobel, a wealthy Swedish industrialist and the inventor of dynamite. The first awards were handed out in 1901, five years after Nobel's death.
 
The economics award is officially known as the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. It wasn't created by Nobel, but by Sweden's central bank in 1968.
 
Though it's handed out along with the other prizes and the criteria for selecting winners are the same, it's not a Nobel Prize in the same sense.
 
The Nobel statutes prohibit the judges from discussing their deliberations for 50 years. So it's probably going to be a while before we know for sure how judges made their picks for 2015 and who was on their short lists.
 
The judges try hard to avoid dropping hints about the winners before the announcements, but sometimes word gets out. Last year, there was a sudden surge in betting on literature winner Patrick Modiano in the days leading up to the announcement.
 
In a new book, the peace prize committee has accused its former secretary of breaching the code of silence. The book describes some of the discussions leading up to the awards during his 25-year tenure.
 
Thousands of people around the world are eligible to submit nominations for the Nobel Prizes. They include university professors, lawmakers, previous Nobel laureates and the committee members themselves.
 
Though the nominations are kept secret for 50 years, those who submit them sometimes announce their suggestions publicly, particularly for the Nobel Peace Prize.
 
That's how we know that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Pope Francis, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi are among this year's 273 nominees.
 
The Nobel Peace Prize is presented in Norway while the other awards are handed out in Sweden. That's how Alfred Nobel wanted it.
 
His exact reasons are unclear but during his lifetime, Sweden and Norway were joined in a union, which was dissolved in 1905.
 
Sometimes relations have been tense between the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, which manages the prize money, and the fiercely independent peace prize committee in Oslo.
 
Scientists often have to wait decades to have their work recognized by the Nobel judges, who want to make sure that any breakthrough withstands the test of time.
 
That's a departure from Nobel's will, which states that the awards should endow "those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind."
 
The peace prize committee is the only one that regularly rewards achievements made in the previous year. According to Nobel's wishes, that prize should go to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is secrecy important?
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COMMENTS (10)
  • julianc-bag
    10/15/2015 - 10:11 p.m.

    I would nominate the pope because he even had a meal with the homeless people.

  • erine-bag
    10/21/2015 - 10:55 p.m.

    If I could nominate someone I would nominate Walt Disney (if he was still alive) for the peace prize because all the Disney stuff, in my opinion, made everyone happier and more smiley......

  • lyman,claudia-cas
    10/24/2015 - 11:59 p.m.

    1. Secrecy is important because it helps keep the tradition of the Nobel prize from changing. If everyone knew how the decision making process went eventually people would try to change it.
    2. I find this article very interesting because I have always wondered exactly what is the Noble prize. I have learned about many people winning it but I have never learned about the history of the Nobel prize.

  • sierrab-ste
    11/09/2015 - 08:21 p.m.

    Nominating someone for the Nobel Peace Prize is a very difficult decision I think. Everyone has different views on what peace is, so to give someone an award for being peaceful is a very hard decision to make.

  • khinmarwai-eri
    11/19/2015 - 03:04 a.m.

    Secrecy is important since
    your excellence can be copied illegally.

  • myamya-eri
    11/19/2015 - 11:15 p.m.

    Secrecy is important in order to find the genuine ones as people can imitate from others.

  • yinyinmoeoo-eri
    1/13/2016 - 11:57 a.m.

    Secrecy is important because without it,this competition will not be a fair one.If it has no secrecy ,people will know the way of choosing the winner and they will try to get it easily.Everything in the world must have secret.If not,none will be successful.And people will get everything easily and they won't try their best .Thus,secrecy is important not only for the Nobel Prize but also for everything.

  • eindrakhinemin-eri
    1/16/2016 - 12:31 p.m.

    Secrecy is important because without it, people will easily know the rules of choosing the prize winner and many will easily get it. then it won't be worth to give such kind of precious prize and many will criticize about it. Then it will leave the bad image among the other countries.

  • thaesuhlaing-eri
    1/30/2016 - 12:31 p.m.

    Secrecy is important in giving award of Nobel's Prize because Nobel's prize is awarded to the person who shall have done the best work for peace among nations and shall be really excellent at something in deep. So the secrecy is carefully hold not to progress in public as people can easily try to get this award.If not, the award won 't be value and there is no one who actually want to try in truth because of his amount of money given to winner. That's why secrecy is very important and an essential part of giving the award.

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