The Prizes of Alfred Nobel Essay

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The Prizes of Alfred Nobel

The Prizes of Alfred Nobel
The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually from a fund bequeathed for that purpose by the
Swedish inventor and industrialist Alfred Bernhard Nobel. The Nobel Prizes are widely
regarded as the most prestigious awards given for intellectual achievement in the world.

In the will he drafted in 1895, Nobel instructed that most of his fortune be set aside as
a fund for the awarding of five annual prizes "to those who, during the preceding year,
shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind." These prizes as established by his
will are: the Nobel Prize for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and
the Nobel Prize for Peace. The first distribution of the prizes took place on December 10,
1901, the fifth anniversary of Nobel's death. An additional award, the Prize for Economic
Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was established in 1968 by the Bank of Sweden and was
first awarded in 1969.

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. Each Nobel Prize consists of a
gold medal, a diploma bearing a citation, and a sum of money, the amount of which depends
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