The evolution researcher Svante Pääbo, who works in Leipzig, and other prizewinners were awarded this year's Nobel prizes on Saturday. At a festive award ceremony in the Stockholm Concert Hall, the Swedish King Carl XVI. Gustaf presented the coveted Nobel medals to a total of eleven honorees on Saturday. The names of the award winners had already been announced by the respective awarding institutions at the beginning of October.
"This year is special," said Nobel Foundation chairman Carl-Henrik Heldin at the Stockholm awards ceremony. After the corona pandemic prevented larger celebrations in the two previous years, the stage can finally be filled with Nobel Prize winners again. With a view to the Ukraine war, the energy crisis and advancing climate change, among other things, he said: "In the face of this multitude of crises and challenges, the world needs dedicated scientists who tirelessly search for the truth and push the boundaries of our knowledge."
Pääbo received this year's Nobel Prize in Medicine for his findings on human evolution. He is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig and was the first researcher to sequence the Neanderthal genome, among other things. The focus of his work is the search for genetic traces from the distant past, especially those of extinct human forms.
Behind this year's award winners, there were also numerous awardees from the previous two years on stage in Stockholm, who were unable to come to Sweden in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. Among them were two Germans, Benjamin List (Chemistry 2021) and Reinhard Genzel (Physics 2020). She and the other previous winners gathered were each honored with applause and also with the piece of music "Laus Canticum", which the Swedish composer Andrea Tarrodi had written in her honor on behalf of the Nobel Foundation.
One of this year's honorees in the chemistry category already knew the procedure with the award ceremony and the subsequent planned Nobel banquet: The US researcher Barry Sharpless had already received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 21 years ago. This time he was honored again in the same category together with his compatriot Carolyn Bertozzi and the Dane Morten Meldal.
The Physics Nobel Prize went to Alain Aspect, John Clauser and the Austrian Anton Zeilinger, the Economics to the economists Ben Bernanke, Douglas Diamond and Philip Dybvig. The French writer Annie Ernaux received the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The Nobel Prizes go back to the dynamite inventor and prize donor Alfred Nobel (1833-1896). They are traditionally presented on the anniversary of Nobel's death, December 10th - the Nobel Peace Prize as the only one in Oslo, all others in Stockholm. This year, the award is once again endowed with prize money of ten million Swedish crowns (around 920,000 euros) for each category.
Max Planck Society via Svante Pääbo About the Leipzig Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Information on the Nobel Week in Stockholm