Monday, March 5, 2012

Who is Alfred Nobel?

                Most of us know that it’s an international awards bestowed in recognition of fields x y z  and what is the procedure to nominate and to pick one from each field of Scientific advances and Cultural. But very few know the reason behind it, after reading about the Alfred Nobel who sacrificed his enormous wealth to give it as a series of price with such a protocol of no boundaries of religion, nation, community or particular corner of the globe. I felt Alfred is kind hearted and really a great creature to mankind. One interesting fact is that, he was not alive to issue single prize composed of his only fortune.
                Alfred Nobel born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1833. At his 18th age, he went to US to learn Chemistry and later he involved in business with his brother Ludving Nobel. As years passed, unfortunately he had to return to Sweden after bankruptcy of their family biz. Then he dedicated himself to the study of explosives and invented the dynamite and held some 355 different patents, dynamite being the most famous.
                Alfred was a scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, author and pacifist. Though Alfred remained unmarried, his biographies note that he had at least three lovers. Alexandra first love, rejected his proposal. 2nd Bertha, his secretary, left him to marry previous lover. It’s believed that, she was the major influence in his decision to include a peace prize in his will. Bertha was awarded the 1905 Nobel Peace prize for her sincere peace activities. 3rd and longest-lasting with flower girl named Sofie Hess for around 18 years with many letters exchanged.  In 1985, Alfred wrote his last will leaving his wealth to establish Nobel Prize and died in Dec 1896.
Nobel Prize would be awarded on 10th of every December, anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death. Peace prize is awarded in Osla, Norway (by Norwegion Nobel committee) and others in Stockholm, Sweden (Royal Swedish academy of Science). Each Laureate receives a gold medal (average of 175 grams), a diploma and a sum of money approximately 6crore rupees considering foundation’s income on previous year.
A maximum of three persons & two different works can be selected per award. Except peace prize, which can be awarded to institution, others can only be given to individuals. It’s not compulsory to issue award in all fields every year and if not awarded in any field, the money is split among the rest.
There are few specially distinguished laureates, four have received prizes twice. (Maria Curie one each for Physics & Chemistry, Linus Pauling for Chemistry & Peace, Johhn Bardan twice in Physics & Frederick Smger, twice in Chemistry) and Curie family is the great one, who bagged 5 prizes (Maria Curie-2, her husband, Pierse -1, First daughter ,Irene Joliot-1 & second daughter, Henry Labousse). 

          Another very interesting fact is that, Gandhi didn’t award for his peace policy. But four people those who adopted his policy namely Nelson Mandela, Fredrik Willem, Aung San & Dhalailama awarded Nobel Peace prize.

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