Nobel Prize history from the year you were born – Kenosha News

Posted: December 3, 2020 at 2:55 pm

Since 1901, Nobel Prizes have honored the worlds best and brightest and showcased the work of brilliant and creative minds, thanks to Swedish businessman Alfred Nobel, who made his fortune with the invention of dynamite.

The Prize in Physiology or Medicine often honors those whose discoveries led to medical breakthroughs, new drug treatments, or a better understanding of the human body that benefit us all.

The Prize in Literature celebrates those skilled in telling stories, creating poetry, and translating the human experience into words. The Prizes in Chemistry and Physics remind most of us how little we understand of genetics, atomic structures, or the universe around us, celebrating the scientists who further knowledge. A later addition to the award roster, the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences is not an original Prize, but was established by the Central Bank of Sweden in 1968 as a memorial to Alfred Nobel. It applauds those who can unravel the mysteries of markets, trade, and money.

The Peace Prize celebrates, in Nobels words, the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses, sometimes risking their lives to do so.

So precious are the awards that the medals of German physicists Max von Laue and James Franck, stored away for safekeeping in Copenhagen during World War II, were dissolved in acid to keep them away from approaching Nazi troops. After the war, the gold was reconstituted from the acid and recast into new medals.

But Nobel history has not been entirely noble. In 1939, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, known for his policy of appeasement toward Nazi Germany, was nominated for the Peace Prize. In an act of irony and protest, members of the Swedish Parliament nominated Adolf Hitler. That nomination was withdrawn. Some recipients have ordered oppressive crackdowns on their own people or ignored genocides, either before or after receiving the Prize. The 1918 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was given to Germanys Fritz Haber, who invented a method of producing ammonia on a large scale, which was helpful in making fertilizer. But the same chemist helped develop the chlorine gas that was used as a chemical weapon in World War I.

Stacker looked at facts and events related to the Nobel Prizes each year from 1931 to 2020, drawing from the Nobel Committees recollections and announcements, news stories, and historical accounts.

Take a look, and see what was happening with the Nobel Prizes the year you were born.

You may also like: 100 years of military history

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Nobel Prize history from the year you were born - Kenosha News

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