DemDaily: The 2023 Nobel Prize Winners

October 11, 2023

The 2023 Nobel Prizes were awarded over the last week, recognizing groundbreaking contributions by an individual or organization in the fields of PhysicsChemistryPhysiology or MedicineLiteraturePeace, and Economic Science.

Widely regarded as the world's most prestigious awards presented in these fields, the prizes go to ”those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.”

History
Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist, engineer, and industrialist most famously known for the invention of dynamite. In his 1895 will, he bequeathed the largest share of his fortune to establish a series of five "Nobel Prizes."

Nobel Prizes were first awarded in 1901, and The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was established as the sixth prize in 1968.

Each Nobel "Laureate" receives a gold medal, a diploma and a monetary award -- which this year is 11 million Swedish krona, or about $989,000 in current exchange rates, which is divided if there are multiple winners.

Selection
The prizes are selected by the Norwegian Nobel Committee and supported by the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

The Committee selects the winners from a pool of hundreds of nominees from qualified nominators, who themselves must be distinguished members of internationally recognized bodies, governments or courts, esteemed experts in their fields or past Nobel recipients.

The Committee does not disclose the nominees or those who nominated them until 50 years later, leaving people to self-report their submissions if they choose.

After the annual January 31st deadline, the Committee assesses each candidates’ work and prepares a short list of 20 to 30 nominees in each category for a final vote. A prize may not be shared among more than three individuals, although the Nobel Peace Prize can be awarded to organizations of more than three people.

The 2023 Winners
Physics
Awarded to scientists Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier “for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter.”

Chemistry
Awarded to Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus and Alexei I. Ekimov for "the discovery and syntheses of quantum dots, nanoparticles so small that their size determines their properties."

Physiology or Medicine
Awarded to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman “for their discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.”

Literature
Awarded to the Norwegian author Jon Fosse “for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable.”

Economics
Awarded to Claudia Goldin, a Harvard professor, “for having advanced our understanding of women’s labour market outcomes.” Goldin's research uncovered the reasons for differences in labor force participation and earnings for women. She is the third woman to win the economics Nobel.

Between 1901 and 2023, the Nobel Prizes and prize in economic sciences were awarded 621 times to 1,000 people and organizations, 61 of whom were women. That includes Pakistan native Malala Yousafzai, history's youngest Nobel laureate at age 17, who received the Peace Prize in 2014.

Peace
As the champion of Nobel Prizes, the nomination and selection process for the Peace Prize is one of the world’s most scrutinized and secretive.

The 2023 Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to human rights defender Narges Mohammadi from Iran "for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all."

Mohammadi will be unable to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway in December as she is imprisoned in Iran.

Learn More about the 2023 Nobel Laureates

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Kimberly Scott
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