Nobel Prize Day 2022: History, Significance and Celebrations

Nobel Prize Day is annually celebrated on 10th December. This day honors the achievements of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish engineer, chemist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. 

We have all heard of the Nobel Prize, it is one of the highest honors that can be earned in various forms of science and other admirable work and this Nobel Prize is awarded annually on Nobel Prize Day. 

This day celebrates the legacy created by Alfred Nobel in the form of Nobel Prize Day. This day is educational and aims to increase awareness among the general public regarding the importance of achievements made by several individuals in making a difference to our world for the good.   

Event Nobel Prize Day
Date December 10, 2022
Day Saturday
Significance The day honors the achievements of Alfred Nobel
Observed by World wide

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Nobel Prize Day History: 

Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) was born in Stockholm, Sweden, on 21 October 1833. His family was descended from Olof Rudbeck, the best-known technical genius in Sweden in the 17th century, an era in which Sweden was a great power in northern Europe. His father was a great engineer himself thus Alfred Nobel expressed early interest in engineering, and explosives in particular. This of course bore results, with Nobel becoming interested in stabilizing the unpredictable explosive, nitroglycerin, as early as his teenage years of his life. Despite one of his brothers dying in a tragic accident involving this pursuit, Nobel continued with his work, shifting the factory base to a more isolated area.  

Ultimately Alfred Nobel became successful in inventing dynamite as a superior and more stable version of nitroglycerin. Later he went on to invent an even better alternative to dynamite in the form of gelignite. This became a staple in mining operations and made Nobel financially successful. Nobel also invented advanced weaponries for military purposes and started companies to sell these. When a French newspaper carried a false obituary of Nobel, criticizing him for his role in warfare, he re-evaluated his life’s goals and decided to use his earnings to set up a prize that recognized the best in humanity. The prizes in the different categories reflect his own interests in various fields. 

Apart from being an entrepreneurial engineer, he was also a writer. Literature occupied a central role in the life of Alfred Nobel. He regarded various literary forms of expression as opportunities to achieve a greater understanding of our own thoughts, lives and relationships with other people and our surroundings. Alfred Nobel had an extensive library, which included important European literary works. Inspired by Shelley and Byron, he wrote poems in English as a young man. Toward the end of his life, he wrote the tragedy Nemesis. His best literary form of expression was probably the aphorism, where he often expressed himself drastically.

The first Nobel Prizes were awarded on December 10, 1901, which was the fifth anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel. When Alfred Nobel wrote his will in 1895, it established that prizes would be awarded each year to commemorate and honor those who made significant achievements in the areas of science, medicine, literature and peace. Most of his fortune was left to this cause and, although no official reason was given for the motivation behind the prizes, many have guessed it was his guilt over being the person who invented such destructive weapons that made him want to start the endeavor. 

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Nobel Prize Day Significance: 

Alfred Nobel created a huge legacy behind him not just as his own achievements for development of science and technology but also for pushing and helping others to gain prestige for their achievements by the Nobel Prize which he created through his foundation. Now, for more than a century, Nobel Prizes have been awarded each year on Nobel Prize Day in Stockholm, Sweden, where Alfred Nobel was born and where he spent a large portion of his adult life. While Nobel is still criticized for the role he played in furthering military technology, the Nobel Prizes, including the Prize for economics, which was added later, are considered the most prestigious achievement for practitioners in those fields.   

Apart from the Nobel Prizes being awarded on this day. This day is also used an opportunity to offer tribute to Alfred Nobel amd recognize his contribution in the field of development of science and technology. Alfred Nobel was a clearly gifted scientist-turned-entrepreneur who had varied interests, including literature and society. While his controversial legacy in military technology continues, the Nobel Prizes are well-known and reputed all over the world. That’s why it is an honor for us only to celebrate the legacy created by one of the most influential man to ever lived on our planet whose legacy is being carried out by the Nobel Prize which he created. 

Nobel Prizes are awarded in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace (Nobel characterized the Peace Prize as “to the person who has done the most or best to advance fellowship among nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and the establishment and promotion of peace congresses”). In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden’s central bank) funded the establishment of the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, to also be administered by the Nobel Foundation. Nobel Prizes are widely regarded as the most prestigious awards available in their respective fields. 

Between 1901 and 2022, the Nobel Prizes and the prize in economic sciences were awarded 615 times. In the statutes of the Nobel Foundation it says: “A prize amount may be equally divided between two works, each of which is considered to merit a prize. If a work that is being rewarded has been produced by two or three persons, the prize shall be awarded to them jointly. In no case may a prize amount be divided between more than three persons.” Nobel Prizes have been awarded to individuals 959 times and organisations 30 times between 1901 and 2022. Of them, 92 were for economic sciences. A small number of individuals and organisations have been honoured more than once as well.  

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Nobel Prize Day Celebrations: 

You can use this occasion to look up at the Nobel Prize archives. There is an abundant amount of information available about Alfred Nobel and the Nobel prize winners on the official site as well as anywhere else online and offline. So select the category that interests you the most and study the timeline of awardees and the subjects or output they were recognized for. Also learn about who are being awarded for this year as this will help you increase your knowledge relating to current affairs. 

Make your own Nobel Prize Awards as an activity for the day. Whether it’s in a classroom full of kids or in a family, consider having fun with the day by choosing your own Nobel Prize Winners. This can be a fun game to play with friends and family members who share a mutual interest in one of the award categories. If you follow developments in peace or chemistry or literature, and you look up to a special person in this field, go ahead and vote to make them win your version of the Prize. This will also help you in discovering special qualities of your friends.  

The Nobel Committee follows a fairly unique process for the nomination and selection of award winners. There are also many other rules related to confidentiality and due process. What better day to look these up. So use this opportunity to learn about the award selection process. Also don’t forget to make others aware about this day as well and you can simply do it by raising awareness about this day through social media.  

Most Searched FAQs on Nobel Prize Day: 

1. When is Nobel Prize Day celebrated? 

Nobel Prize Day is annually celebrated on 10th December. 

2. Who was Alfred Nobel? 

Alfred Nobel was an inventor, entrepreneur, scientist and businessman who also wrote poetry and drama. His varied interests are reflected in the Nobel Prizes which he laid the foundation for in 1895 in his last will and testament. 

3. What are the Nobel Prize categories? 

The Nobel Prize categories are physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace – these were laid out in the will of Alfred Nobel. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden’s Central Bank) established the prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel. 

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