People are still debating about the recent announcement that U.S. President Barrack Obama is the world’s newest Nobel Laureate (he won the Nobel Peace Prize). There are plenty of other sites where you can discuss whether or not he deserved to win, but I thought I would take a moment to write about what the prize actually entails, and where it came from.
Origins Of The Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes were created by the last will and testament of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist who invented dynamite. There were originally five prizes: Chemistry, Physics, Peace, Literature and Physiology/Medicine, but a sixth prize was added in 1968 for Economics.
What Is The Prize?
The Nobel Prize is strictly a monetary prize, although the prestige associated with being a Nobel Laureate may be more valuable today. Alfred Nobel intended that the vast majority of his (sizable) estate was to be invested safely and the interest earned each year would be given to the prize winners. When Nobel died, his estate was worth approximately US$186 million, and has since grown to about US$400 million. The current monetary prize per category is US$1.4 million(source: Wikipedia).
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