Alfred Nobel’s assets managed and distributed by the Nobel foundation is considered as the highly prestigious award bestowed for outstanding excellence and achievement in the fields of science (physics, chemistry and medicine) and literature. And one added feather to this jewel crown: the Peace prize! The prizes were first awarded in 1901. The Swedish Central bank, in 1968, named a new addition to the award list, for excellence in economic sciences and dedicated it to the memory of Sir Alfred Nobel.
The Nobel foundation is a private institution entrusted to look over the proper execution of this award. The Nobel Prize awarding institutions handle the process of selecting the laureates. Awards in physics, chemistry and economical science are overlooked by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Nobel assembly in Karolinska Institute handles Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and that of literature is handled by the Swedish Academy. The Norwegian parliament elects the Norwegian Nobel committee that decides the Peace Prize.
The inventor, scientist, entrepreneur and author, Alfred Nobel, was born on October 21, 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden. He left most of his wealth in 1895 towards the establishment of the Nobel Prize, which was to be awarded annually without distinction in nationality. Among his many achievements was the invention of dynamite, followed by ballistite and gelignite. The practical utility of his invention “…. ways to kill more people faster than ever before….” as stated by a French newspaper is said to have traumatized him as to how he would be remembered by his predecessors. As an answer to his concerns the Nobel Prize was born. In his last will he specified that most of his estate should be converted to a fund and invested in “safe securities”. Each year the income from this investment was to be distributed to those who during the preceding year have shown outstanding and promising development towards the greatest benefit on mankind.
The winners are awarded a medal, a diploma and a sum of money; the amount for 2012 is set at Swedish kronor (SEK) 8.0 million per full Nobel Prize.
- Alfred Nobel: A Biography by Kenne Fant