The Road to the Nobel Prize

thumbnail image: The Road to the Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize is one of the world's most important scientific awards. Who nominates the chemistry Nobel Prize candidates and how is the winner selected? Test your knowledge in the quiz.


Prior to the award, potential winners go through a nomination process that is subject to certain specifications. The exact rules are based on the statutes of the Nobel Foundation.

 



Who may nominate for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry?
A) Anyone
B) All Nobel laureates
C) The Nobel Foundation
D) Professors in the respective field from selected universities worldwide
E) Chemistry Nobel laureates, members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the respective Nobel Committee, and Professors in the respective field from selected universities worldwide

See answer

E)
Only a select group of experts is entitled to nominate. In September, the Nobel Committee for Chemistry sends confidential forms to around 3,000 persons who are competent and qualified to nominate next year’s Nobel Prize candidates. The Nobel Committee members (normally five) are elected for a period of three years from among the members of the Academy of Sciences. In assessing the qualifications of the candidates, the Nobel Committee is assisted by specially appointed expert advisers.

As the central institution for the Nobel Prize, the Nobel Foundation was established by the executors of Alfred Nobel's will. It is headed by six directors and is responsible in particular for the administration of the Nobel Prize and the organization of festivities. Furthermore, it organizes symposia on scientific topics.

 



May deceased persons be nominated?
A) Yes
B) No

See answer

B) No
Until the 1970s this was possible. Today, however, only living persons may be nominated.

Anyone who dies between the announcement of the Nobel Prize in October and the awarding of the prize in December receives the honor posthumously.

 



Can you nominate yourself?
A) Yes
B) No

See answer

B) Nobody can nominate her/himself.

 



When can you nominate someone?
A) Always
B) Until February 1
C) Until July 1

See answer

B)
The deadline for nominations is February 1. Nominations submitted in the twelve preceding months will be considered for selection.

As several nominators often submit the same name, about 250 to 350 scientists are nominated.

The opinions of the Nobel Committees, as well as information about nominators and nominees, are kept secret for 50 years, only then can they be viewed.

 



Which of these conditions is not a requirement?
A) The contribution has brought the greatest benefit to humankind in the respective field.
B) The most recent achievements in the respective field should be awarded. Older achievements only if their importance has only recently become apparent.
C) The achievement must have been previously published.
D) The achievement must have been previously awarded.

See answer

D)

 



How is the Nobel laureate(s) chosen from the nominations?
A) By number of nominations
B) By lottery after deliberation of various committees
C) By majority vote after deliberation of various committees

See answer

C)
The Nobel Committee for Chemistry at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is responsible for the selection of candidates for the Chemistry Prize from the names submitted for consideration.

 



Why are the prizes awarded in December?
A) It is the end of the year
B) It is the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death
C) It is the birthday of Alfred Nobel

See answer

B)
On the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death, December 10, the prizes are ceremonially awarded. He lived from 1833 to 1896.

The honorees receive a certificate and the gold medal with the Alfred Nobel's likeness, and the equivalent of around one million euros in prize money. If there are several winners in a category, the money is divided among the Laureates.

 



Where does the prize money come from?
A) From the estate of Alfred Nobel
B) From a Nobel tax from patents
C) From donations

See answer

A)
Alfred Nobel stipulated that his assets be invested by trustees in "safe securities" as well as that the interest income be distributed in five equal parts among the Nobel Prizes. The statutes of the Nobel Foundation further stipulate that at least 60 % of the earnings must be distributed as prizes.

 


The laureates are announced each year in early October.
Who do you think will be awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year?
Make a guess

 

 

Reference


Also of Interest

 

 



 

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