Ever wondered why Nobel Prize is the most prestigious award? Do you know what the importance of the Nobel Prize is? In this article, we are going to read about the origin of the Nobel Prize. The Nobel Prize is not one prize; it consists of five separate prizes. And according to the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel, every year it is rewarded to “those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to Mankind”. So, let’s read about the history and achievements of the Nobel Prize.

Alfred Nobel was a Swedish industrialist, engineer, and chemist most popularly known for the invention of dynamite. He died in the year 1896 and in his will, Alfred bestowed 94% of his remaining assets to be utilized to establish five Nobel prizes. It was first awarded in the year 1901. Nobel Prizes are awarded in the fields of Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Literature, and Peace. The Nobel Prize consists of a diploma, a gold medal, and a monetary award of 10 million SEK.

Origin of the Nobel Prize
Origin of the Nobel Prize

The will of Nobel was not accepted by the Storting in Norway until April 26, 1897. The executors of the will Rudolf Lilljequist and Ragnar Sohlman created the Nobel Foundation to protect and take care of the fortune and to systematize the awarding of the prizes. The foundation was founded as a private organization on June 29, 1900. The foundation is not engaged in the process of selecting the laureates (recipients of the prize). The function of the Nobel Foundation is similar to an investment company; they invest in Nobel’s finance to create a strong funding base for the administrative activities and the prizes.

After the formation of the Nobel Foundation and its guidelines, the committee began collecting nominations and each committee chose the winners – the physics committee chose Wilhelm Rontgen for his discovery of X-rays; The chemistry committee chose Jacobus Van’t Hoff for his contributions to chemical thermodynamics; The Swedish Academy chose Sully Prudhomme for his literary contributions (several members were against it because they thought Leo Tolstoy deserved it more); German microbiologist and physiologist Emil von Behring received the first Nobel Prize in the field of physiology or medicine for his antitoxin to treat diphtheria; Jean Henri Dunant received the first Nobel Peace Prize for initiating the Geneva Convention and the foundation of the International Red Cross Movement, and it was jointly awarded to French pacifist Frederic Passy.

Origin of the Nobel Prize
Origin of the Nobel Prize

In the year 1968, Sveriges Riksbank celebrated its 300th anniversary by donating a huge amount to the Nobel Foundation to be utilized to set up a new prize (Economic Scient) on the list in honour of Alfred Nobel. The following year, the prize was awarded for the first time. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences got the task to choose the laureates. The first laureates were Jan Tinbergen and Ragnar Frisch for developing and applying dynamic models for the analysis of economic processes. The Nobel Foundation decided that no further prizes will be added after this.

Except for the Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Prizes are presented on December 10, on the occasion of Alfred Nobel’s death, at the Prize Award Ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden. The Peace Prizes are presented at the annual Prize Award Ceremony in Oslo, Norway, usually on the same day as Nobel’s death anniversary. The ceremonies that happen in Sweden are held at the Stockholm Concert Hall with the Nobel banquet following right away at Stockholm City Hall. The Peace Prize ceremony has been held at the Norwegian Nobel Institute from 1905 to 1946, at the University of Oslo from 1947 to 1989 and since then at Oslo City Hall. In Stockholm, the laureates receive the prize at the hands of the King of Sweden, and in Oslo, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee presents the Peace Prize in presence of the King of Norway and the Norwegian Royal family.

Also Read: How to Read Books More Deeply And Intricately?