Living in Stockholm, the week when the Nobel prizes are announced is always big. (The creator of the prizes was Swede Alfred Nobel, who was the inventor of dynamite.) Every day this week, a new winner has been announced. All the newspapers speculate who will win and their are always betting favorites. It is sort of like the Oscar announcements for the brainy set. For me, there is a bit of added cache as my view includes Stadshuset (City Hall), the place where the awards dinner is held in December.
Today the peace prize will be announced. The winners thus far include: Chemistry: Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath. Literature: Herta Müller, Medicine: Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak, Physics: Willard S. Boyle, Charles K. Kao and George E. Smith.
The prize announcements are always interesting, especially since there is usually some sort of controversy as to who did and did not get the prizes. There was a lot of talk this year, for instance, that an American should be given the literature prize as the last one to win was Toni Morrison in 1993. But the prizes never seem to work as planned. So now we wait for the peace prize.