The Prizes Of Alfred Nobel
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The Prizes of Alfred Nobel
The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually from a fund bequeathed for that purpose by the Swedish inventor and industrialist Alfred Bernhard Nobel. The Nobel Prizes are widely regarded as the most prestigious awards given for intellectual achievement in the world.
In the will he drafted in 1895, Nobel instructed that most of his fortune be set aside as a fund for the awarding of five annual prizes “to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.” These prizes as established by his will are: the Nobel Prize for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and the Nobel Prize for Peace. The first distribution of the prizes took place on December 10, 1901, the fifth anniversary of Nobels death. An additional award, the Prize for Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was established in 1968 by the Bank of Sweden and was first awarded in 1969.
The prestige of the Nobel Prize stems in part from the considerable research that goes into the selection of the prizewinners. Although the winners are announced in October and November, the selection process begins in the early autumn of the preceding year, when the prize-awarding institutions invite more than 6,000 individuals to propose, or nominate, candidates for the prizes. Some 1,000 people submit nominations for each prize, and the number of nominees usually ranges from 100 to about 250. Each Nobel Prize consists of a gold medal, a diploma bearing a citation, and a sum of money, the amount of which depends on the income of the Nobel Foundation. Prizes can be rejected but has not happened very often. Adolph Hitler ordered all Germans to refuse the Nobel prizes because he was angry when an anti-Nazi journalist won for literature in 1935.
January 22, 2005