The Nobel Prize is an international award administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden. The Prize was established from Alfred Bernhard Nobel's will on November 27, 1895.
Every year, since 1901 the Nobel Prize has been awarded for outstanding contributions in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize.
All prizes are presented on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death. Each prize consists of a medal, personal diploma, and cash award (more than 1 million Euros). For the past few decades, the Nobel Prize has been considered to be the most prestigious prize in the world.
Alfred Nobel invented dynamite in 1866 in Krummel, Germany, and patented it later in 1876. He was also the founder of the Nobel Prize, chemist, scientist, inventor, engineer, entrepreneur, author, weapons manufacturer, and pacifist. After his death he left 31 million Swedish Kronor (the equivalent of US$103,931,888 in 2007) to fund the prizes.
That Alfred Nobel was a pacifist is highly contradictory, since dynamite was used not only in industry but also in many wars. Furthermore, he owned a company named Bofos, which was a major weapons manufacturer. Bofos was founded in 1873, but it originated from the iron and steel mill called Boofors, established in 1646.
From the first Nobel Prize awarded in 1901, this prize has had many criticisms and controversies in the proceedings, nominations, awardees and exclusions. Many individuals who really had conferred the greatest benefits on mankind did not win the prize, for instance:
Thomas Edison: an American inventor and businessmen who developed many devices such as the phonograph and light globe. He was the first one to apply principles of mass production to the process of invention.
Nikola Tesla: a Serbian inventor, physicist, electrical and mechanical engineer. He invented things that marked the modern era and is called "the man who invented the 20th century" and "the man out of his time". He is most known for alternating current (AC), the induction motor, the rotating magnetic field, wireless technology, among many others.
Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleyev: a Russian chemist and inventor. He was the originator of the periodic table of the elements.
Oswald Theodore Avery: an American physicist who is known for the discovery (along with his co-workers) that DNA is the material of which genes and chromosomes are made.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian Independence Movement. He is well-known to the world for non-violence and truth advocacy. His birthday, October 2, is a national holiday in India and is the International Day of Non-Violence. He was nominated five times for the Nobel Prize, but never received it.
Here are a few controversial individuals who won the Nobel Prize:
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