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
Lexile

The beginning of October means Nobel Prize time. That's 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 follow this week with physics on Oct. 6 being awarded to Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was announced on Oct. 7 and was awarded to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar. The prize for literature was announced on Oct. 8 and 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 will be announced on Oct. 12.
 
Each prize is worth 8 million Swedish kronor. That is $960,000.  The award 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. He was a wealthy Swedish industrialist and the inventor of dynamite. The first awards were handed out in 1901. That was 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. Instead, it was created 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.
 
The nominations are kept secret for 50 years. Still, those who submit them sometimes announce their suggestions publicly. That is particularly true 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. 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."

Filed Under:  
Assigned 67 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is secrecy important?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (34)
  • samanthao-ver
    10/09/2015 - 01:30 p.m.

    I like the Nobel Prize and it is very interesting and it is worth watching it too.

  • lukem-orv
    10/09/2015 - 03:41 p.m.

    Secrecy is important because if you found out something that humilimates you, then you would be upset and then be mad at the same time and also have rage.

  • josiec-1-bar
    10/11/2015 - 10:28 p.m.

    Secrecy is important because it keeps private information to the source and does not allowed publicity to take control of a situation and change it. My opinion is that secrecy should always be acknowledge so everyone has their rights.

  • vincents-1-bar
    10/12/2015 - 02:06 p.m.

    Secrecy is important because it keeps private information to the source and does not allowed publicity to take control of a situation and change it. My opinion is that secrecy should always be acknowledge so everyone has their rights.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    10/12/2015 - 08:34 p.m.

    I didn't know that there were many different kinds of Nobel Prizes like Literature, Chemistry, Medicine, Peace, and Physics, and economics. I also didn't know that the Nobel Prizes were established by a man named Alfred Nobel. The judges also kept the winners secret because they didn't want the people to bet on it. I think that people who won the Nobel prizes were very successful and glad.

  • leop-mcc
    10/13/2015 - 09:50 a.m.

    Secrecy is important because the judges that chose the winners want it to be a surprise to the public. They don't want word to spread of how they choose the winners. It also doesn't allow the public to alter the decisions being made.

  • gracem-mcc
    10/13/2015 - 09:51 a.m.

    Secrecy is important because it ensures that word doesn't get around about who might win the award. They don't want anyone having an idea about who might win the award.

  • teddyp-mcc
    10/13/2015 - 09:51 a.m.

    Secrecy is important because it hides people's ideas and thoughts, so that nothing is taken or stolen from someone else. Secrecy protects a person's own ideas so that he/she can possibly win an ward without the ideas and thoughts being stolen. This gives protection which secures ideas and thoughts.

  • roberth1-mcc
    10/13/2015 - 09:52 a.m.

    Secrecy is important because it gives people privacy and that everybody doesn't find out about the idea or thought. It helps if someone thinks he or she will win an award then they can keep it to themselves.

  • taylorn-mcc
    10/13/2015 - 09:53 a.m.

    Secrecy is important in determining who wins the Nobel Prize because it keeps the information private and it allows the judges to make the decision without the impact of the people.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT