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Thursday, January 7, 2010

10 important people awarded Nobel Prizes [History]

This is an interesting listing of 10 most important people awarded Nobel Prices in history.

1. Marie Curie The leading light in a family that between them amassed a remarkable five Nobel Prizes in the fields of Chemistry and Physics. She became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in 1903 when she was recognised, along with her husband Pierre and Antoine Henri Becquerel, with the Physics award for their research into radiation.
She later became the first person to receive two Nobel Prizes when she was given the Chemistry Prize in 1911 for her discovery of radium and polonium, and her further research into radium. She is among a select group of people to have won prizes in two different fields.

2. Martin Luther King Jr.
The American civil rights activist was the youngest person to be recognised by the Nobel foundation when he won the Peace Prize in 1964, at the age of 35, for his work to end racial discrimination through non-violent means.
Even after his death in 1968 King's legacy lived on, and his image is still used today as a symbol by human rights groups around the world.

3. Albert Einstein
Arguably the world's most famous scientist, Einstein was given the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for his services to physics, especially his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.
During his career he made significant contributions to the world of theoretical physics, among them his famous theories of relativity.

4. Francis Crick, James Watson and Maurice Wilkins
These three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 for their discovery of the "double helix" structure of DNA nine years earlier.
The award was deemed controversial because of the death of Rosalind Franklin, a collaborator with Wilkins, four years earlier. Nobel foundation rules, which state the prizes cannot be given posthumously, meant her work was not recognised.

5. Jean-Paul Sartre
The French existentialist philosopher, writer and literary critic was the first person to turn down a Nobel Prize in 1964 when he declined the Prize for Literature.
Sartre is still recorded as the winner by the Nobel federation for his influential work which was "filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth".

6. Sir Alexander Fleming
Sir Alexander shared the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Ernst Chain and Sir Howard Florey for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect on infectious diseases.
The Scot made his discovery accidentally when he returned to his untidy laboratory from a holiday to discover a fungus had developed that destroyed the bacteria immediately surrounding it.

7. Hermann Muller
The American won the same prize as Fleming a year later, in 1946, for his discovery of the mutating effects of X-ray radiation.
His research and continued argument against nuclear war made him a figure of great political significance in later years as nuclear weapons became an increasingly controversial subject.

8. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Russian novelist and dissident, who spent time in a Soviet labour camp after writing letters that criticised the communist regime, received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970.
His most famous novels, The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, for which he received the award, exposed the brutality of the Soviet Union's forced labour camps.

9. The International Committee of the Red Cross
The highest number of Nobel Prize wins goes to the International Committee of the Red Cross with three separate Nobel Peace Prizes.
In 1917 and 1944 the organisation was recognised for its work during the First and Second World Wars, and it was named as a winner again in 1963, along with the League of Red Cross Societies, to mark its 100th anniversary.

10. Sir Clive Granger
The Welsh economist won the 2003 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his methods of analysing economic statistics, which revolutionised the way economists interpret financial data.
His prize was shared with Robert Engle III, for his research in a similar area.


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