myth and facts

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· Alfred Nobel wrote the final draft of his Nobel Prize bequest on a torn piece of paper at the Swedish Club in Paris in front of four witnesses because he distrusted lawyers.

· The Nobel Prize has been awarded to people and organizations every year since 1901, five years after Alfred Nobel's death.

· The Nobel Prize is originally a Swedish brain-child comprising of a set of international awards given to personalities in various categories by the Scandinavian countries. They are basically meant for the recognition of scientific and cultural advances by individuals. These prizes were established by a Swedish philanthropist inventor known as Alfred Nobel as early as 1895.

·  Every year in early October, the world turns its gaze towards Sweden and Norway as the Nobel Laureates are announced in Stockholm and Oslo. Millions of people visit the Nobel Foundation’s website during this time.

·  December 10 is Nobel Day. For the prizewinners, it is the climax of a week of speeches, conferences and receptions.

· Prizes first awarded in five subjects: chemistry, physics, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace.Sixth subject, economics, added in 1969.

·  These Prizes are awarded by different communities in various categories; the one for Physics, Economic sciences and Chemistry is given out by the Royal Academy of Sciences; Nobel Swedish Academy, awards Prizes in Medicine while Swedish Academy is responsible for the one given out in Literature. However, it is important to note that these Nobel Prizes are not presented by the Swedish Government; it is generally the work of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

· In 1900, the four institutions awarding the prizes agreed to create the Nobel Foundation, a private institution based on the will of Alfred Nobel. The Nobel Foundation would administer Alfred Nobel’s willed assets, totaling SEK 31 million (USD 4.4 million, EUR 3.4 million), make public announcements and arrange the prize ceremonies. The prize amount each year is based on the most recent return on investment. The capital is currently worth around SEK 3.0 billion (USD 427 million, EUR 330 million), which is almost twice the amount of the initial capital, taking inflation into account.

The Nobel Prize is currently SEK 8 million (USD 1.1 million, EUR 0.8 million) for each prize category, even when the prize is shared. There may be no more than three Laureates for each prize category.

·  Prizes can only be awarded to individuals, except the Peace Prize.

·  Each prize constitutes a gold medal, a diploma, and a sum of money.

· It is important to note that these Prizes are not awarded to people in death but if one dies before receiving it, it will still be given out.

·  The first Nobel Prize awarded in Physics went to Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen who played a very big role in the world of science by discovering the X-rays.

·  Each year there are 100 to 250 nominees for each prize.

·  Prizes must be awarded at least once every 5-year period.

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