Nobel Prize season is upon us once again. Every October, committees in Sweden and Norway name laureates in a variety of prizes in the sciences, literature and economics, as well as peace work. In total, six prizes will be awarded.
Like everything else, the Nobels are making adjustments for the pandemic. Last year, some events were canceled in favor of a digital ceremony for the winners. The Oslo ceremony for the peace prize was smaller than in most years, with a limited audience.
This year’s festivities will be a mixture of digital and physical events. Laureates will receive their Nobel Prize medals and diplomas in their home countries in December, the organization said.
Here’s a quick guide to this year’s prizes.
Who are this year’s winners?
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly on Monday to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian “for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch.”
The pair made breakthrough discoveries that launched intense research activities that in turn led to a rapid increase in our understanding of how our nervous system senses heat, cold, and mechanical stimuli.
When are the awards announced?
One prize will be announced each day from Monday to Friday this week and again on Oct. 11, between 5:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. Eastern time. Announcements are made in Stockholm and Oslo, and will be streamed live on the official digital channels of the Nobel Prize.
The award for physics will be announced on Tuesday.
The award for chemistry will be announced on Wednesday.
The award for literature will be announced on Thursday.
The award for peace work will be announced on Friday.
The award for economic science will be announced on Monday, Oct. 11.
What are the prizes?
Six Nobel Prizes are awarded every year, each recognizing an individual’s or organization’s groundbreaking contribution in a specific field. Prizes are given for physiology or medicine, physics, chemistry, economic science, literature and peace work, which often draws the most attention because of the caliber of people and groups nominated.
This year, there are 329 candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel committee said. Here’s how those nominations work.
Previous Nobel Peace Prize winners include Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai (2014), former President Barack Obama (2009), Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk (1993), the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso (1989) and Mother Teresa (1979).
What do the winners receive?
Nobel Prize laureates will receive a Nobel Prize diploma, a Nobel Prize medal and a document detailing the Nobel Prize amount, which last year rose to 10 million Swedish krona, or about $1.1 million in current exchange rates.
Who were the 2020 winners?
Last year’s winners included the World Food Program for its efforts to combat a surge in global hunger amid the coronavirus pandemic and scientists for their work on the development of Crispr-Cas9, a method for genome editing.
See a complete list of 2020 winners here.