When Nobel winners get the news while sleeping!

STOCKHOLM, Dec 12: Some Nobel laureates are fast asleep in the dead of the night when they get calls from the Nobel Committee about their selection, a top official of such a committee said.

After the selection is made on a Tuesday in the middle of October, it is the custom of the Nobel Committee to inform the winners over the phone.

“Sometimes, the laureates, mostly those who are based in the US, are fast asleep in the middle of the night when they get calls. At other times, husbands or wives have to be informed about their spouses’ achievements,” Per Delsing, Chairman of the Nobel Committee for Physics, told PTI.

Incidentally, this year’s Nobel winner for Physics Japanese-born American Shuji Nakamura was asleep at his home in California when he got a call from the Nobel Committee at 2 AM on October 7.

“I was at my home but was sleeping. And immediately there were continuous calls from journalists. So, there was no time for sleep or rest,” he said in an interview.

There have been some more instances like this before, according to Delsing.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is responsible for the selection of Nobel Laureates in Physics.

The Academy appoints a working body, the Nobel Committee for Physics, which screens the nominations and presents a proposal for final candidates.

The committee consists of five ordinary members, one secretary and two joint members.

The selection procedure for Physics and Chemistry is same while that for Literature, Peace, Medicine and Economics is slightly different.

Delsing, a professor of physics at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, says the procedure to select a Nobel laureate in the field actually takes a whole year.

“Already in October this year, we had sent requests for nominations for next year’s Nobel prizes. Every year, we sent out several thousands of requests to nominators around the world and we get several hundred nominations back. And these should reach us by January 31,” he said.

The confidential forms are sent to around 3,000 people – selected professors at universities around the world, Nobel Laureates in Physics and Chemistry, and members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, among others.

“And it is really based on those nominations that we select the winner. One needs to be nominated to get the award. All nominations are made by individuals,” Delsing said. (PTI)


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