Nobel Prize in Medicine
The Nobel prize for medicine, officially Nobel prize in physiology or medicine, was established by Alfred Nobel's will of 1895 and was first awarded in 1901, like the other prizes. established by Nobel himself.
This award is not awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences like most Nobel laureates, but by the Karolinska Institute.
It consists of a sum of money (eight million Swedish crowns in 2013), a personalized diploma for each winner and a gold medal bearing the effigy of Alfred Nobel.
The prize is awarded by a jury of medicine professors from the Karolinska Institute who draws up a list of five nominations from a preliminary choice of about fifty nominations drawn up by the Nobel committee. The committee is made up of 5 members of the Karolinska Institute who alternate by co-option every three years. Nominations are made with the help of other leading Swedish and foreign medical institutes, research circles, prominent medical figures and former award winners who each year nominate several eligible names for the award. The prize cannot be awarded jointly to more than three people.
After the winner's name was revealed in early October, the Nobel Foundation medal and diploma were officially awarded to him by the King of Sweden on 10 December following, the anniversary of the award's founder's death. Since 2001, the Nobel Prize has been endowed with an amount of 10 million Swedish kronor, or just over one million euros.
He was not awarded on nine occasions (1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1921, 1925, 1940, 1941 and 1942). In 2011 he was assigned posthumously for the first and only time (Ralph Steinman, who died 3 days before the announcement of the assignment).
Origins and evolution
Legacy of Alfred Nobel (1833-1896), the Nobel prizes were to be awarded to individuals whose contributions brought "the greatest benefit to the history of mankind" in the fields of peace, literature, chemistry, physics and medicine or physiology. The reward cannot be posthumous, so occasionally acknowledging senior contributors before they disappear.
According to Nobel's will, the scientific prizes should in principle crown the work of the previous year. From the start, this time frame seemed insufficient to clearly measure the extent of a discovery. It was also customary to award prizes for several years, even decades. In 1901, the first Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Emil von Behring (1854-1917) for his work on serotherapy (early 1890s) and in 1905 to Robert Koch (1843-1910) for his work on tuberculosis ( 1880).
The first Nobel Prizes in Medicine (1901-1914) crowned 16 winners: 4 Germans, 3 French, 2 Russians and only one from 7 countries. In the beginning, doctors and scientists (physiologists) are more or less the same, the share of doctors only decreases during the twentieth century.
During this period 1901-1914, for those who were not chosen, the awarding of the Nobel Prize aroused the "grinding" of a personal or nationalist order, in an international context of competition and expansion of colonial empires. However, the Nobel Prize is also part of a new communication process that goes beyond the medical community to reach the general public. The birth of the Nobel Prize corresponds to the beginning of a "media era" in which spectacular medical advances are spreading very rapidly on a global scale (x-rays and discoveries on rabies, tuberculosis, diphtheria, etc.).
In 1906, members of the Nobel committees recognized that most of the discoveries had not been made by isolated individuals and that the price of medicine was shared by two scientists and by 1934 at most by three. These people can be collaborators or competitors.