The season for the Nobel Prizes to honor philanthropists began on Monday, and the announcement of this year’s prizes comes against the backdrop of furious fighting in Europe as the war in Ukraine continues.
As it happens every year, the season begins with science awards, medicine, Monday, physics, Tuesday, chemistry, Wednesday, the literature award, Thursday, and peace, Friday.
On Monday, Swedish scientist Svante Papu was announced as the winner of the Medicines Prize for his role in discovering the “genomes of extinct hominins” and revealing their connection to “human evolution”.
The winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine .. his discovery deciphers the mystery of the relationship between humans and “extinct people”
The awarding of Swedish “genomics” pioneer Svante Pääbo the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology on Monday was the culmination of his role in determining the complete sequence of the genome of Neanderthals and in establishing the discipline led by the study of DNA belonging to the fossils of antiquity to know the characteristics of genes of mankind in ancient times.
The Nobel Prize season concludes on October 10 with the latest prize, economics, the only one not founded by the famous Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Stockholm and Oslo on 10 December.
Nobel Peace Prize
Never since World War II has there been a conflict between countries so close to Stockholm and Oslo, the two quiet capitals where Nobel prizes have been awarded for more than 120 years, citing Russia’s war on Ukraine, AFP says.
This year’s award, which is the culmination of prizewinners’ week and will be awarded on 7 October, will have a special impact this year.
Nominations (343 this year) expire on January 31, before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but the five members of the Nobel Committee are also allowed to put names on the table during their first meeting at the end of February.
“It is most likely a prize that goes to support institutions that collect information about war crimes,” Swedish professor Peter Wallenstein, who specializes in international issues, told AFP.
These expectations can be addressed to the International Criminal Court in The Hague or the investigative website “Bellingcat”.
The Russian opponent, Alexei Navalny, who was in prison when he returned to Russia, or the Belarusian opposition, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, will be two possible figures to win the award as an expression of anti-Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Last year, the award was given to one of the Russian president’s staunch enemies, journalist Dmitri Muratov, along with Filipino journalist Maria Ressa, for the dedication to press freedom.
Among the candidates this year, according to expectations, are Transparency International, which fights corruption, the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, and other environmental figures, such as the Sudanese Nisreen Al-Saem, the Ghanaian Shebes Ezekiel, and the British naturalist David Attenborough.
If there is a “global security crisis” with Ukraine as well as with Taiwan, “it may be time for the committee to move to the environmental crisis,” says Dan Smith, director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
As for the literature prize, it could also be an anti-Kremlin message, and among the candidates for it is the Russian Lyudmila Ulitskaya, whose name has been widely circulated in recent years, according to AFP.
The names of the American Joyce Carol Oates, the Japanese Haruki Murakami, the French Michel Welbeck and Annie Ernault were also traded.
The name of the Hungarian Laszlo Krasnorkai, the Americans Thomas Pynchon, Don de Lillo and the Norwegian dramatist, John Vosse, have also been circulated.
Physics’ revolutionary use of light and pioneers of “orthogonal” chemistry, which focuses on chemical reactions inside living cells, are well positioned to receive other scientific awards.
In a webinar organized by C&EN, a chemistry and engineering journal, experts predicted that mRNA and biochemical vaccines will be in good shape this year.
The two scientists behind the development of RNA vaccines, Drew Wiseman and Katalin Carrico, were overwhelmingly approved by the public and nominated for the second year in a row.
And the results of a ChemistryViews poll suggest that an American biochemist, such as Omar Yaghi and Xu Weng, is likely to be the winner.
Among the strong candidates in “orthogonal” chemistry is Carolyn Bertozzi of Stanford University, who received the Wolf Prize in Chemistry in February CNN said she should have received the prize already.
Bertozzi worked to understand the relationship of sugar to cells and the emergence of conditions such as cancer, infections and bacterial infections. Modification of these cells through orthogonal chemistry has led to new ways to treat many diseases.
Stuart Cantrellwhich has a long history of prize prediction, posted a poll on Twitter, and the majority of respondents nominated orthogonal chemistry for the 2022 prize.
In 2021, two scientists, the German Benjamin List and the American David Macmillan, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of asymmetric organic catalysis, a “new and innovative tool for building molecules.”
In the past three years, the Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to scientists who have created computer models for measuring climate change and for topics related to black holes and planets outside our solar system.
Some scientists expect this year’s award to go to topics related to stoplights, quantum physics and carbon nanotubes, according to the “Voice of America” website.
Three scientists have won the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics, in recognition of their “leading” contributions to the understanding of complex physical systems such as climate change on the planet.