What do Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Sir Alexander Fleming, Seamus Heaney, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, Jean-Paul Sartre, Bob Dylan, and Mother Teresa have in common? They're all Nobel Peace Prize recipients, of course. The Nobel Prize is administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden and is an international prize based on the fortune of Alfred Nobel who was a Swedish inventor and entrepreneur – and the inventor of dynamite.

Alfred Nobel, having died without having married or having offspring, established the Nobel Prize in his will in 1895, allocating a portion of his fortune to recognise outstanding contributions in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace. The Nobel Peace Prize, in particular, was envisioned to honour individuals or organisations that have made significant strides in fostering global peace and resolving conflicts. Each year the prize seeks to recognise those who have "done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." Let's explore further.

When is Nobel Peace Day?

Since 1901, all prizes have been awarded on the special day of the 10th of December. This day was chosen as the day to celebrate the prestigious Peace Award to mark the anniversary of Nobel's death.

The roots of Nobel Peace Day can be traced back to the legacy of Alfred Nobel, a visionary inventor, scientist, and philanthropist who left an indelible mark on history through his creation of the Nobel Prize. 

There was no clear explanation of why "peace" was chosen as a category but many believe it stemmed from his friendship with peace activist, Bertha von Suttner, who later also received the prize.

Nobel believed scientists weren't responsible for what the world did with their inventions. He invented both dynamite and ballistite, which were used destructively during his lifetime and was also responsible for turning an iron and steel producer into an armaments company. Oppenheimer, for example, was nominated for three Nobel prizes but never received the prize.

The peace prize, unlike others, is meant to be administered in Norway instead of Sweden and it's speculated that the reason is that Norway did not have the same militaristic traditions as Sweden.

How many Nobel Prize categories are there?

The Nobel Prizes, especially the Peace Prize, has become one of the most esteemed recognitions globally, shining a spotlight on the tireless work of peacemakers and advocates for human rights. Over the years, laureates have ranged from political figures and activists to organisations working toward disarmament and social justice. Each recipient has contributed to the ongoing narrative of global peacebuilding. 

There are six Nobel Prize categories:

  1. Physics
  2. Chemistry
  3. Physiology or medicine
  4. Literature
  5. Peace
  6. The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel

Winners receive a medal, a personal diploma, and a cash award of nearly one million dollars. When someone wins an award they are known as a "Nobel Prize laureate." 

Between 1901 and 2022, the Nobel Prizes and the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel have been awarded over 600 times to 1,000 people and organisations.

How can someone be nominated for a Nobel Prize?

To be nominated for a Nobel Prize, an eligible nominator must nominate the individual or organisation. Nomination is by invitation only and nominators have to fulfil the criteria set out by the awarding institutions.

Each committee differs but they all work to fulfil Alfred Nobel's vision which stated that the prize should be awarded only to those who have “conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.”

The takeaways

One of the central themes of Nobel Peace Day is the interconnectedness of peace and sustainable development. Recognising that peace is not merely the absence of conflict but the presence of justice, equality, and human rights, the day emphasises the need for comprehensive approaches to addressing the root causes of violence and instability. By championing the principles of diplomacy, dialogue, and cooperation, Nobel Peace Day serves as a catalyst for positive change on both a local and global scale.

We look forward to seeing who will win the Nobel Prizes this year. Tag us in your Nobel Prize stories @triabeautyuk on Tria Beauty UK's Facebook or Instagram. Who has been your favourite/most well-regarded recipient?
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