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KS3 Science & Maths - Breaking News!: Noble Nobels

Information to help you create a science and maths news flash, mini-documentary or advert (year 8) - compiled by your Librarians.

How much do you know about Alfred Nobel?

Also try the Nobel Prize quiz on the same page...

Has Anyone Ever Been Stripped of a Nobel Prize?

No one has ever been stripped of a Nobel Prize, because this is actually specifically forbidden by the organization which administers the Nobel Prizes. According to the Nobel Foundation, “no appeals may be made against the decision of a prize-awarding body with regard to the award of a prize,” and no prizes can be revoked after the fact, no matter how controversial they may seem. Despite the existence of several petitions pushing for retraction of controversial Nobel Prizes, it is unlikely that the organization will change its rules to make a revocation possible.

Read about some controversies and comments HERE

Books in Senior Library

Some books about Nobel Peace Prize laureates

Books in Senior Library

Resources about Nobel Science Prize laureates

What is the Nobel Prize ?

The Nobel Prizes

Every year since 1901 the Nobel Prize has been awarded for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace. The Nobel Prize is an international award administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden.

Each prize consists of a medal, personal diploma, and a cash award.

Click this image to create your own list of Nobel laureates - on year, category, nationality....

Alfred Nobel - Early life

Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm on October 21, 1833. His father Immanuel Nobel was an engineer and inventor who built bridges and buildings in Stockholm. In connection with his construction work Immanuel Nobel also experimented with different techniques for blasting rocks. 

Read more about Alfred Nobel's work and varied interests HERE

How are the winners selected ? Step 1

The prestige of the Nobel Prize stems in part from the considerable research that goes into the selection of the prizewinners. Although the winners are announced in October and November, the selection process begins in the early autumn of the preceding year, when the prize-awarding institutions invite more than 6,000 individuals to propose, or nominate, candidates for the prizes.

Some 1,000 people submit nominations for each prize, and the number of nominees usually ranges from 100 to about 250. Among those nominating are Nobel laureates, members of the prize-awarding institutions themselves; scholars active in the fields of physics, chemistry, economics, and physiology or medicine; and officials and members of diverse universities and learned academies. The respondents must supply a written proposal that details their candidates’ worthiness.

Self-nomination automatically disqualifies the nominee.

Prize proposals must be submitted to the Nobel Committees on or before January 31 of the award year.

Excerpted from Britannica Encyclopedia page

Selection Process - step 2

On February 1 the six Nobel Committees—one for each prize category—start their work on the nominations received.

Outside experts are frequently consulted during the process in order to help the committees determine the originality and significance of each nominee’s contribution. During September and early October the Nobel Committees have accomplished their work and submit their recommendations to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the other prize-awarding institutions. A committee’s recommendation is usually but not invariably followed. The deliberations and the voting within these institutions are secret at all stages.

The final decision by the awarders must be made by November 15. Prizes may be given only to individuals, except the Peace Prize, which may also be conferred upon an institution.

An individual may not be nominated posthumously, but a winner who dies before receiving the prize may be awarded it posthumously.

Excerpted from Britannica Encyclopedia page

Nobel Prizes for 2012

Click this image to read about the Nobel Laureates in Physics for 2012.

Nobel Prizes 2011 Quiz

How to win a Nobel prize?

(This is from a Princeton University student's blog)

- First, decide that you want to do significant Nobel Prize -level work. It's okay to reach.

- It's not all about luck, since lots of great scientists (Einstein, Shannon) made many great contributions. They got many hits, so it doesn't seem like pure luck. "Luck favors the prepared mind."

- One of the characteristics you see, and many people have it including great scientists, is that usually when they were young they had independent thoughts and had the courage to pursue them. Einstein challenged ideas about the speed of light when he was 12.

- You need brains, but only a certain amount, and you probably have enough.

- You need courage to dare to think through some impossible thoughts and follow through. Perservere..

And that's not all! Read more at this webpage

What are Nobels

What is the Nobel Prize awarded for?  Why is it so important?

Your task : Pick one of the Nobel prizes this year and explain what is was won for.

Nobel Prize webpages

Humour - Ig Nobel prizes

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology.

Why We Do It

Our goal is to make people laugh, then make them think. We also hope to spur people's curiosity, and to raise the question: How do you decide what's important and what's not, and what's real and what's not — in science and everywhere else?

Read HERE about the 2012 Ig Nobel prize winners!

What is the ABEL prize ?

The Niels Henrik Abel Memorial Fund was established on 1 January 2002, to award the Abel Prize for outstanding scientific work in the field of mathematics. The prize amount is 6 million NOK (about 750,000 Euro) and was awarded for the first time on 3 June 2003. See details at the Abel Prize webpages

Books in Senior Library

Books by Nobel Literature Prize laureates

Fiction book - Nobel genes

It's tough to measure up to your parents' expectations. Imagine how much harder it would be if your mother told you that your biological father -whom you'd never met - was a Nobel prize-winning genius? NOBEL GENES is the story of just such a boy. His life consists of a series of halves; his genes are half from a donor bank that featured Nobel winners.