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I INTRODUCTION  

 

Nobel Prizes, annual monetary awards granted to individuals or

institutions for outstanding contributions in the fields of physics,

chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, international peace, and

economic sciences. The Nobel prizes are internationally recognized as

the most prestigious awards in each of these fields. The prizes were

established by Swedish inventor and industrialist Alfred Bernhard Nobel,

who set up a fund for them in his will. The first Nobel prizes were

awarded on December 10, 1901, the fifth anniversary of Nobel’s death.

 

In his will, Nobel directed that most of his fortune be invested to form

a fund, the interest of which was to be distributed annually "in the

form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have

conferred the greatest benefit on mankind." He stipulated that the

interest be divided into five equal parts, each to be awarded to the

person who made the most important contribution in one of five different

fields. In addition to the three scientific awards and the literature

award, a prize would go to the person who had done "the most or the best

work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of

standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

Nobel also specified certain institutions that would select the

prizewinners. The will indicated that “no consideration whatever shall

be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy

shall receive the prize.”

 

Alfred Nobel

 

After his own experiments led him to the lucrative invention of

dynamite, Alfred Nobel established a fund to reward other innovators

“contributing most materially to the benefit of mankind.” The Nobel

Prizes are awarded in the fields of chemistry, physics, physiology or

medicine, literature, international peace, and economic sciences. The

awards reflect Nobel’s interests; in addition to performing valuable

chemical research, he spoke several languages, traveled widely, and

wrote poetry.

 

In 1968 the Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, created an economics

prize to commemorate the bank's 300th anniversary. This prize, called

the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, was first awarded in 1969.

The bank provides a cash award equal to the other Nobel prizes.

 

II NOBEL FOUNDATION  

 

In 1900 the Nobel Foundation was established to manage the fund and to

administer the activities of the institutions charged with selecting

winners. The fund is controlled by a board of directors, which serves

for two-year periods and consists of six members: five elected by the

trustees of the awarding bodies mentioned in the will, and the sixth

appointed by the Swedish government. All six members are either Swedish

or Norwegian citizens.

 

In his will, Nobel stated that the prizes for physics and chemistry

would be awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences, the prize for

physiology or medicine by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, the

literature prize by the Swedish Academy in Stockholm, and the peace

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