Nobel Prize season is upon us once again. Every October, committees in Sweden and Norway name laureates in a variety of prizes in the sciences, literature and economics, as well as peace work. In total, six prizes were awarded.
Laureates will receive their Nobel Prize medals and diplomas in Stockholm in December. Last year’s ceremony included 15 laureates from 2020 and 2021 who received their diplomas and medals in their home countries because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Here is a quick guide to this year’s prizes.
What are the Nobel prizes?
Six Nobel Prizes are awarded every year, each recognizing an individual’s or organization’s groundbreaking contribution in a specific field. Prizes are given for physiology or medicine, physics, chemistry, economic science, literature and peace work, which often draws the most attention because of the caliber of people and groups nominated.
This year, there were 351 candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel committee said. That’s the second highest number of candidates ever behind 2016, when 376 candidates were nominated. (Here’s how those nominations work.)
Previous Nobel Peace Prize recipients include Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai (2014), President Barack Obama (2009), Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk (1993), the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso (1989) and Mother Teresa (1979).
Here are this year’s winners.
The award for physiology or medicine was awarded to Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman on Oct. 2, for their discoveries that led to the development of effective vaccines against Covid-19. Read more about them here.
On Tuesday, the award for physics was shared by three scientists — Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier — for their work on electrons. Read more about them here.
The award for chemistry was awarded on Wednesday to Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus and Alexei I. Ekimov for the discovery and development of quantum dots, nanoparticles so small that their size determines their properties. Read more about them here.
On Thursday, the award for literature was awarded to the Norwegian author Jon Fosse “for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable.” Read more about him here.
The award for peace work was awarded on Friday to Narges Mohammadi, a jailed Iranian activist, “for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all.” Read more about her here.
On Monday, the award for economic science was awarded to Claudia Goldin, a Harvard professor, for research that uncovered the reasons for differences in labor force participation and earnings for women. She is the third woman to win the economics Nobel. Read more about her here.
What do the laureates receive?
Nobel Prize laureates will receive a Nobel Prize diploma, a Nobel Prize medal and a document detailing the Nobel Prize amount, which this year is 11 million Swedish krona, or about $989,000 in current exchange rates.