Monday 7 October 2013

2013 Nobel Prize Week

Nobel excitement
The second working week in October is always quite exciting for me; it is the Nobel Prize announcement week.
Today, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three scientists James Rothman and Randy Schekman of the United States and Thomas Sudhof of Germany, “for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells.”
The people and the detail
Professor Göran K. Hansson, the secretary of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine made the announcement at 9:30 GMT impressively and flawlessly in 5 different languages.
After the announcement, Professor Juleen Zierath the chair of the committee explained the rationale behind the award of the prize and science behind it; I could not help but notice her American accent.
The BBC website attempts to break down the science into digestible detail, stating it is discovering how cells precisely transport material, that it is crucial for the way the brain communicates, the release of hormones and parts of the immune system and that a defective vesicle transport system is implicated in diabetes and brain disorders.
Nomination cycle
The process of nomination starts in September of the year before the award is made, in February the nomination process is closed, then consultation, reports and recommendations are made through to the first week in September. The laureate(s) are then chosen the day before the announcement during which time they are contacted and informed of the honour before the public announcement we heard today.
Names of the nominees and all related nomination material are kept secret for 50 years after the award is made.
This means anyone who is interested can now ask for information about other nominees, when the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine of 1963 was awarded to Sir John Carew Eccles (Australia), Sir Alan Lloyd Hodgkin (UK) and Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley (UK); for their discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane. [Wikipedia][Nobel Foundation]
The 2013 Nobel Prize Announcements
You can join the Twitter discussion by following NobelPrize_Org and using the #NobelPrize or #NobelPeacePrize hashtags.
The announcements can be viewed on the Nobel Prize YouTube Channel, each scheduled as shown below:
Announcement of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine - Monday 7 October, 11:30 a.m. CET at the earliest
Announcement of the Nobel Prize in Physics - Tuesday 8 October, 11:45 a.m. CET at the earliest
Announcement of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry - Wednesday 9 October, 11:45 a.m. CET at the earliest
Announcement of the Nobel Prize in Literature - Thursday 10 October, 1:00 p.m. CET
Announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize - Friday 11 October, 11:00 a.m. CET
Announcement of the Prize in Economic Sciences - Monday 14 October, 1:00 p.m. CET at the earliest

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