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Why (and how) did the Nobel Prize change?

Why (and how) did the Nobel Prize change?

And Is it time to reform the Nobel Prize? With the announcement of the winner in medicine, the week of the most prestigious award in the world begins today in Stockholm. Tomorrow we will know the name for physics, Wednesday for chemistry, and Thursday for literature; The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday in Oslo, and next Monday, again in Stockholm, and will conclude with the Nobel Prize for Economics.

It has been 122 years since the foundation, established by Alfred Nobel in Sweden in 1901, began awarding irrevocable cash prizes.Of living figures who, in their respective fields, have brought “the greatest benefits to humanity.” Not much has changed since then, except for the creation of the Nobel Economics Prize in 1969 and the possibility that there may now be up to three winners in each category. But according to authoritative scholars, the Nordic Academy Prize is seriously behind its time, especially in the field of science. First of all, there is a gender issue, given that of the 989 Nobel Prizes awarded so far in all categories, only 61 have gone to women, most of them in literature and peace.

But above all, medical historian David Oshinsky points out Wall Street Journal, The Nobel Prize selection process does not take into account the new realities of advanced research, while still privileging the individual over the group. Thus, while the Nobel Peace Prize is indeed awarded to NGOs such as Amnesty International or Doctors Without Borders, in the field of science, even with the three laureates, there is a tendency to glorify a solitary enterprise in a world increasingly characterized by scientific sophistication. cooperation. “Why – asks Oshinsky – do not award the Nobel Prize to an entire laboratory where a revolutionary discovery occurs?” Another change should be to expand the categories to take into account increasingly rapid changes, and to create Nobel Prizes for environmental science, robotics, computer science, and artificial intelligence.

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