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Nobel Prizes 2017 : At a glance

By Ashna Butani 

Alfred Nobel, an engineer, a chemist and an inventor is famed for several inventions, among which, the most popular are the dynamite and the Nobel Prize. Ever since its inception in 1895, the Nobel Prize has been bestowed upon several people for their outstanding academic, scientific and cultural contributions. The renowned prize confers upon its winners, a sum of money that has been decided by the Nobel Foundation. The Nobel Prize winners of 2017 have been announced. After a vote amongst the awarding institutions, a press conference was held by the award givers. The 2017 Nobel Prize Ceremony, that will take place on 10th December, confers upon each of its winners INR 72,693,900.

Inventing the future

The Nobel Prize 2017, in Chemistry, was awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson, ‘for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution.’ The ingeniously created Cryo-electron microscopy is a technique that enables one to take pictures at an atomic scale. This discovery will help cancer drug and Zika virus research.

The Nobel Prize in Medicine was jointly awarded to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young. The three American Scientists discovered molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm. The Physics Nobel Prize was divided among Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne for their contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.

Bringing in a new era

While the world of physics, chemistry and medicine witnessed some miraculous discoveries, Richard Thaler and Kazuo Ishiguro, were setting examples for future generations. Thaler was awarded the $1.1 million Nobel Economics Prize for his contributions in the field of behavioural economics. Famed for the ‘nudge’ theory, Thaler worked for 40 years in order to study human bias and temptation in economics.

Similarly, Kazuo Ishiguro was blazing his own trail in the field of literature. The author, born in the bomb-hit Nagasaki in 1954, ‘in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.’ He has written seven novels, a short-story collection and screenplays.

Disarmament prospects increase

The esteemed Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). The Geneva-based group consists of disarmament activists. It has a membership of 468 partner organizations in 101 countries. The victory has been celebrated all over the world, as people call it the ‘beginning of the end of nuclear weapons.’ The global civil society coalition drew attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons. They have also been credited for ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.

Each of these new inventions and efforts gives our world a glimmer of hope. Like every year, the Nobel Prize winners will lead the masses and take us a step closer to the world that Alfred Nobel had envisioned.

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