Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
October 17, 2021
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is one of the five Nobel Prizes. It is the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet that every year at the beginning of October decides who has won this year's Nobel Prize. The prize has been awarded since 1901. Medal and diploma The prize consists of a medal, a diploma and a sum of money. The medal is in gold (until 1979 in 23 carats, then in 18 carats) and is 66 mm in diameter. On the obverse, the medal bears Alfred Nobel's left - handed portrait. To the left is the inscription «ALFR • / NOBEL» over two lines and to the right over six lines the inscription «NAT • / MDCCC / XXXIII / OB • / MDCCC / XCVI» (Nobel's year of birth 1833 and year of death 1896). The reverse carries a motif in which a seated female figure supports a younger woman with one arm and with the other holds a vessel filled with water that springs from a cliff. The seated woman symbolizes medicine and has a laurel twig at her feet. The younger woman has a jar and a snake, symbols of medicine, by her side. It is all surrounded by the inscription «INVENTAS • VITAM • IUVAT EXCOLUISSE • PER • ARTES» in the upper arch and «REG • UNIVERSITAS • MED • CHIR • CAROL •» in the lower arch. The inscription in the upper arch is a quote from Vergil's work Æneiden: "inventas vitt juvat excoluisse per artes", which means "and those who improved life on earth with their newfound skills". The inscription in the lower arch stands for Karolinska Institutet, which was originally called The Royal Carolinska Medico-Surgical Institute, which selects the prize winner, was designed by Erik Lindberg in 1902. The medal for the prizes in physics and chemistry is identical, while the medals for medicine and literature have identical adverse, while different reverse. The medal for the Peace Prize has its own design of both adverse and reverse. Copies of the medal exist in silver and gilded silver, including in museums and collections. For the prize winners' family members, up to five medals are made in gilded bronze. The medals are made at the Swedish Mint. The diploma for the prize winners in medicine consists of two parts, a page with the details of the prize and the prize winner inscribed and a page depicting the reverse of the medal together with a quote from the Nobel will: "To those who have done mankind the greatest good." Until 1965, the diploma had a work of art instead of a medal picture and quote, as the diplomas for the other Nobel Prizes still have.