Nobel Prizes

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Nobel Prizes 2012
First awarded in 1901, Nobel Prizes are annual international recognition of scientific and/or cultural advances in fields of chemistry, physics, literature, peace, economics and physiology or medicine. Each recipient receives a medal, diploma and monetary award. This year’s winners were announced this month. Follow the link to find out who is receiving the prestigious awards.

Alfred Nobel
The man best known for bequeathing his estate upon his death to support the annual Nobel Prizes was ironically the chemist who discovered dynamite. As a pacifist and a humanitarian, he was appalled to find out that the invention was used for military purposes, rather than solely peaceful reasons, such revolutionizing the mining industry. This was the main reason he created, in a handwritten will, the Nobel Foundation and the arrangement for giving out annual prizes for extraordinary achievements. Read more about this important figure in Gale Biography in Context, one of the library’s Reference Databases.

European Union
The EU is an economic and political partnership of 27 European countries formed in the aftermath of World War II. This year, the organization is the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for “six decades contributed to advancement of peace and reconciliation.”

Ig Noble Awards
For something a little different, the Ig Noble Prizes are awarded annually at Harvard University for achievements or research that “make people laugh, and then make them think.” For example the winners this year include a psychology prize for a study called “Leaning to the Left makes the Eiffel Tower Seem Smaller,” as well as a Literature Prize to the US Government Accountability Office for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports. Check out more bizarre winners from years past.