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Beautiful Minds Recognised

  • December 12th, 2007
  • Posted by Sian Graham

nobel-ceremony.jpgSweden has played host to some of the world’s greatest minds in chemistry, physics, medicine, and economics over the past week in the lead up to the 2007 Nobel Prize Award Ceremony.

The prize giving ceremony takes place every year at the Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10 — the anniversary of the death of its founder Alfred Nobel.The Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony takes place on the same day in Oslo, Norway.

This is the opportunity for joint Peace Prize Laureates Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to present their lectures.

At Stockholm, Leonid Hurwicz, co-prize winner for economics and 88-year-old Doris Lessing, winner of the literature prize, and the only female Nobel Prize winner for 2007, were unable to attend the gala event due to poor health.

The eight men honoured on the day, in Stockholm, were economics laureates Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson of the United States, medicine Mario Capecchi and Oliver Smithies of the United States and Briton Sir Martin Evans, Germany’s Gerhard Ertl for the chemistry prize, and physics laureates Peter Gruenberg and Albert Fert of France.

King Carl XVI Gustaf presented the awards which consist of a diploma, a gold medal, and a cheque for US$1.5 million.

The prize winners had to give back their medals which will be on display until Wednesday 12.12.07 — when they can officially take them home. nobel-2007-oliver-smithies.jpg

One prize winner who knows exactly what he is going to do with his was 82-year-old Oliver Smithies, a professor of pathology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

“I will have a replica made of it so no one will know which one to steal,”he told the News & Observer.

Mr Smithies and fellow medicine Nobel Laureates, Sir Martin Evans and Mr Cappecchi were recognised after 20 years “for their discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells.”

Using controversial embryonic stem cell techniques the men independently discovered that they could use a natural mechanism to introduce short sequences of manipulated DNA into the chromosomes of mammalian cells growing in the laboratory.

After the ceremony the recipients attended a gala banquet for over a thousand guests including Sweden’s royal family and members of the government.


Charlotte Observer, “UNC professor receives Nobel today”, 10.12.07. (11.12.07).

The Nobel Foundation, “The Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies” (11.12.07).

The Local, “Nobel winners take prizes in Stockholm”, 10.12.07 (11.12.07).

Picture: Boo Jonsson, Nobel Foundation