2020 Nobel Prize Winners

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The Nobel Prizes were first awarded on December 10, 1901. The most prestigious award ceremony was held in Stockholm and in Christiania (now Oslo) at the Old Royal Academy of Music. From 1901 to 1925, the event was held at the Royal Academy and after that since 1926, the Nobel Prize ceremony always took place at the Stockholm Concert Hall barring a few years.

Nobel Prize: 10 interesting facts
  1. Have you ever thought why the winners are called Nobel Laureates? Here it is – the word ‘Laureate’ refers to the ‘laurel wreath’ which is a symbol of victory and honour. According to Greek mythology, ‘laurel wreaths’ were given to victors in any field.
  2. The youngest Medicine Nobel Laureate is Frederick Banting, who discovered insulin. He was 32 when he won the Nobel.
  3. Marie Curie is the only person who was awarded the Nobel in two different scientific categories – Physics and Chemistry
  4. Between 1901 and 2019, women have won the Nobel Prize 54 times
  5. Jean-Paul Sartre who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964 had refused. He had declined all official honours.
  6. Le Duc Tho had declined the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. Along with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger he was awarded the Nobel for negotiating the Vietnam peace accord. Le Duc Tho refused citing the Vietnam situation.
  7. There are six ‘Nobel’ couples so far: Marie Curie and Pierre Curie, Irene Joliot-Curie and Frederic Joliot, Gerty Cori and Carl Cori, May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser, Alva Myrdal and Gunnar Myrdal, and Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee.
  8. Malala Yousafzai is the youngest to win the Nobel. She was only 17 when she won the Nobel Peace Prize.
  9. John B. Goodenough is the oldest person to win the Nobel. He won the Prize for Chemistry in 2019 at the age of 97.
  10. Since 1901, Nobel Prizes have not been awarded 49 times. These were mostly during World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945).

Nobel Prize

 

PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE

  1. Harvey J. Alter (American)
  2. Charles M. Rice (American)
  3. Michael Houghton (British-born)

They won the 2020 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for work in identifying the Hepatitis C virus, which causes cirrhosis and liver cancer.

  • Harvey James Alter (born September 12, 1935) is an American medical researcher, virologist, physician and Nobel Prize laureate, who is best known for his work that led to the discovery of the hepatitis C virus.
  • Charles Moen Rice (born August 25, 1952) is an American virologist and Nobel Prize laureate whose main area of research is the Hepatitis C virus. He is a professor of virology at the Rockefeller University in New York City. Rice is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, member of the National Academy of Sciences and was president of the American Society for Virology from 2002 to 2003.
  • Michael Houghton (born 1949) is a British-born scientist and Nobel Prize laureate. He co-discovered Hepatitis C in 1989. He also co-discovered the Hepatitis D genome in 1986. The discovery of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) led to the rapid development of diagnostic reagents to detect HCV in blood supplies, which has reduced the risk of acquiring HCV through blood transfusion from one in three to about one in two million.

PHYSICS

  1. Andrea Mia Ghez
  2. Sir Roger Penrose
  3. Reinhard Genzel

They won the 2020 Nobel Prize for Physics for work on black hole formation and the discovery of a supermassive blackhole at the centre of our galaxy.

Nobel Prize

Sir Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez together scooped the 114th Nobel prize in physics. Andrea Ghez, is the fourth woman to be awarded a Nobel prize in physics.

  • Andrea Mia Ghez (born June 16, 1965) is an American astronomer and professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCLA. In 2004, Discover magazine listed Ghez as one of the top 20 scientists in the United States who have shown a high degree of understanding in their respective fields. 
  • Reinhard Genzel (born 24 March 1952 in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Germany) is a German astrophysicist. He was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for physics, which he shared with Andrea Ghez and Roger Penrose.
  • Sir Roger Penrose OM FRS (born 8 August 1931) is an English mathematical physicist, mathematician and philosopher of science. He is Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, an emeritus fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, and an honorary fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge.

CHEMISTRY

  1. Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier
  2. Jennifer Anne Doudna

They won the 2020 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for Work on Genome Editing.

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna have discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. Using these, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision. This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true.

  • Jennifer Anne Doudna (born February 19, 1964) is an American biochemist known for her pioneering work in CRISPR gene editing and Nobel prize winner 2020 in Chemistry.
  • Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier (born 11 December 1968) is a French professor and researcher in microbiology, genetics and biochemistry.

LITERATURE

  1. Louise Glück

The poet Louise Glück has become the first American woman to win the Nobel prize for literature in 27 years, cited for “her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”.

Glück is the 16th woman to win the Nobel, and the first American woman since Toni Morrison took the prize in 1993. The American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was a surprise winner in 2016.

PEACE

  1. World Food Programme

The Nobel Peace Prize 2020 was awarded to World Food Programme (WFP) “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.”

ECONOMICS

  1. Paul R Milgrom
  2. Robert B Wilson

They won the 2020 Nobel Prize for Economics for improvements to auction theory.

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences has been awarded to Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.”

  • Paul Robert Milgrom (born April 20, 1948) is an American economist. He is the Shirley and Leonard Ely Professor of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, a position he has held since 1987. Milgrom is an expert in game theory, specifically auction theory and pricing strategies. He is the winner of the 2020 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
  • Robert Butler “Bob” Wilson, Jr. (born May 16, 1937) is an American economist and the Adams Distinguished Professor of Management, Emeritus at Stanford University. He was jointly awarded the 2020 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, together with his Stanford colleague Paul R. Milgrom, “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.

 

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