Stockholm, 10 December 2021 (TDI): Every year, Nobel Prize Day falls on December 10. It celebrates the achievements of Alfred Bernhard Nobel, who was a Swedish engineer as well as a chemist. He was also a philanthropist and entrepreneur. This award recognizes exceptional achievements across a wide range of sciences and arts fields. Nobel Prize Day is basically a day to honor the person who instituted the prize.

Who was Alfred Bernhard Nobel?

Alfred Nobel was born to an engineer father. His early interest in engineering and explosives was a source of his motivation. He, in his teenage, was interested in stabilizing nitroglycerin, an unpredictable explosive. Nobel’s brother, who was also working towards this goal, died in an unfortunate accident. Therefore, he continued with his work, moving the factory base to an isolated area. Thus, he invented dynamite, a stable, superior version of nitroglycerin.

Additionally, Alfred Nobel invented gelignite, a better option than dynamite. And became a major in the mining industry and was also a financial savior. Moreover, he created weapons for the military and also built companies to sell them. A French newspaper published a fake obituary about Nobel that criticized him for being a war veteran. Nobel then rethought his life and decided to utilize his earnings in order to create a prize that would recognize the best of humankind. Thus, these awards reflect Nobel’s interests in many areas.

History of Nobel Prize Day

Alfred established the Nobel Prize. On 27 November 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his third and last will at the Swedish, Norwegian Club in Paris. After the death of Alfred when it was opened and read, the will cause a lot of controversies both in Sweden and internationally, as he had left much of his wealth to establish the Prize and give the award to those who helped humanity. His family opposed the creation of the Nobel Prize, and the Nobel Prize winners he named didn’t do what he asked in his will. The 1901 Nobel Prize was awarded five years later than it was first created.

Nobel Price Day Timeline
  • 1867, Dynamite is invented: After many trials, including a fatal one, Nobel is successful in stabilizing nitroglycerin and developing dynamite.
  • 1895, Nobel Writes an Important Will: In his last will, Nobel leaves the bulk of his fortune to institute the Nobel Prizes.
  • 1901, Nobel Prizes are Awarded: The first batch of awardees receive their prizes, including Jean Henri Dunant, for founding the International Red Cross Movement.
  • 1968, Economics is Added to the Prizes: The Swedish Central Bank requests this addition on its third centenary through its donation to the Nobel Foundation.
The Nobel Prize recognizes excellence.

The Nobel Prize, which is the most prestigious in various fields, has been widely regarded as being the most important in the world today. It is awarded to “those, who during a preceding calendar year, shall have the greatest impact on mankind.” Radioactivity, penicillin, X-rays, are among the most prize-winning discoveries.

1968 was the year Sweden’s central bank, Sveriges Riksbank, created the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science. As a celebration of its 300th birthday, the Nobel Foundation donated this prize in 1968.

Nobel Prize winners: 1901-2021

  1. Six Award Categories

The Nobel Prize recognizes the highest achievement in medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, peace, and economic sciences.

2. Notable Winners 

Between 1901 and 2020, 603 Nobel Prizes were awarded to 962 laureates.

In 1903 and 1911, Marie Curie, the Polish-French physicist, was the first person to win two Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry.

In 2014, at 17 years, Malala Yousefzai became the youngest person to receive a Nobel Prize. She shared the peace prize with Kailash Satyarthi for their “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.

Some other notable Nobel laureates include Albert Einstein (1921, physics), Martin Luther King Jr (1964, peace), and Nelson Mandela (1993, peace).

3. Winners by continent

While the Nobel Prize is an international award, mostly the prize winners are from Europe.

The Award Ceremony 

The Nobel Prize winners are announced each October. On the 10th of December, it held the Nobel Prize Day award ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, and Oslo, Norway. The Swedish King presents the prizes at the Stockholm ceremony, where they present the Nobel Diploma and a Medal to the winners.

2020 was, however, an exception. Because of the Covid-19 epidemic, Nobel Week was conducted digitally. They held online lectures and award ceremonies whereas; they canceled Banquets in Stockholm and Oslo.

Similar procedures will be used in Sweden to award the prizes for 2021. For the Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to host an in-person ceremony at Oslo City Hall.

Stockholm is the location for all Nobel Prizes except the Peace Prize whereas, Oslo, Norway presents a Peace Prize award to the recipient.