Nobel Committee Announces 2023 Winners

By: Jordan Park and Veronica Schubert

Local and Sports Editors 

Every year, the Nobel Committee presents six Nobel Prizes to recognize a group or an individual’s outstanding contribution to a specific field. Here are the 2023 Nobel Prize recipients:

On Oct. 2, the Nobel Committee awarded Dr. Katalin Karikó and Dr. Drew Weissman The Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for their role in developing COVID-19 vaccines. The two biologists identified a chemical modification in messenger RNA that would allow the mRNA to bypass the body’s immune responses and successfully enter the cells. Their discovery contributed to developing and improving the efficacy of vaccines, enabling the administration of billions of vaccines within a year. Medical professionals are now using the technology against several other diseases, including influenza, malaria, HIV, and cancer. Dr. Karikó is also the 13th woman to win the award in the field of medicine since 1901.

Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz, and Anne L’Huillier received the Nobel Prize in Physics. They created a technique that allows scientists to study the movement of electrons. These particles move 43 miles per second, making them impossible to study until now. This new technique uses short light pulses to capture the relative position of an electron at a moment in time.

The Nobel Prize committee awarded Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus, and Alexei I. Ekimov the Nobel Prize for their revelations in chemistry. They discovered and developed quantum dots. The nanoparticles are semiconductor crystals used in electronics to emit a specific color and by doctors when removing cancer tissue. CNN describes them, stating, “In terms of size, one quantum dot is to a soccer ball as a soccer ball is to the Earth.” The color these dots emit depends on their size; the larger dots glow red, while the smallest glow green or blue and are now visible worldwide in TVs, theaters, and operating rooms. The laureates’ work continues to allow scientists to exploit the full potential of the properties of the nanoworld. 

Jon Fosse — a Norwegian novelist, poet, and playwright — won the Nobel Prize in Literature. He has published 40 plays, along with children’s books, poetry, novels, and works of translation. The chairman of the Nobel Literature Committee, Anders Olsson, praised Fosse for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable” and his “sensitive language, which probes the limits of words.” 

Claudia Goldin won The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, making her the third woman ever to win the Economics prize and the first woman to receive the award alone. A professor at Harvard University, her research aimed to uncover the underlying causes of disparities between men and women in terms of their workforce involvement and earnings. Her research proves that women outpace men in education and participate immensely in the labor force. However, they receive unequal pay compared to their male counterparts and struggle to reach the top of professions. 

This year, Narges Mohammadi received the Nobel Peace Prize. Mohammadi received the award within an Iranian prison where she has spent most of the last decade, charged with “spreading anti-state propaganda.” Inside the infamous Evin Prison and amid health crises, Mohammadi continues to release highly critical statements about the Iranian government to news outlets. To the New York Times, she said, “I also hope this recognition makes Iranians protesting for change stronger and more organized, victory is near.” The Prize also recognizes the hundreds of thousands of others who have demonstrated against the Iranian government’s oppression of women. 

(Sources: CNN, New York Times, Nobel Peace Prize) 

Categories: World

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