Nobel Prize season begins every October as committees in Sweden and Norway name laureates in a variety of prizes in the sciences, literature and economics, as well as peace work. The announcements started on Monday this year with the awarding of the prize in Physiology or Medicine. They will continue until next Monday, when the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel is announced.
The Nobel Prizes most years are presented to recipients in Stockholm and Oslo in December. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the committees are changing their approaches. Some of the events in Stockholm will be canceled in favor of a digital ceremony for the Nobelists, and medals and diplomas are to be distributed to the recipients’ embassies and handed over in their home countries. Recipients may be invited to the award ceremony for 2021, if possible.
The Oslo ceremony for the peace prize will be smaller than in most years, with a limited audience.
The Nobel committee also announced another change last month: Each prize will rise to 10 million Swedish krona, 1 million more than in the previous year. That’s a hike in the prize value of about $112,000 in current exchange rates.
The 2020 Winners
Physiology or Medicine
Drs. Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice on Monday received the prize for their discovery of the hepatitis C virus. The Nobel committee said the three scientists had “made possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives.”
When will the other Nobel Prizes be announced?