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Q&A: Who awards the Nobel prizes?

Who awards the Nobel prizes?

The St. Petersburg Times stated … "The Norwegian-based Nobel committee honored …" We just visited Stockholm, Sweden, and while there visited the Nobelmuseet (Nobel Museum) and were told the Swedish Academy, the body that selects Nobel prize winners, meets there. I'm confused. Is it Norway or Sweden that awards the Nobel prizes?

Alfred Nobel, who was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1833, made a great fortune as a chemist, engineer, inventor and arms manufacturer. Among his 355 inventions: dynamite.

As the story goes, in 1888 Nobel was reading a French newspaper and came across his obituary.It was titled "The merchant of death is dead."

The newspaper had it wrong — it was his brother, Ludvig, who died — but it got Nobel to wondering how he would be remembered.

When Nobel died in 1896, his will called for his fortune to be used to create annual prizes in physics, chemistry, peace, literature and physiology or medicine for people who provided the "greatest benefit on mankind." (The economics prize was added in 1968, in Nobel's memory.) The Nobel Foundation was created in 1900 to carry out his wishes. At Nobel's request, it consists of five Swedish or Norwegian citizens and is based in Stockholm.

The will also stipulated who would award the prizes. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences gives the Nobel Prize for physics, chemistry and economics; the Karolinska Institute for physiology or medicine; and the Swedish Academy for literature. Those are awarded in Stockholm. The Nobel Peace Prize is determined by a committee of five people elected by the Norwegian Parliament. This prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway.

At the time of Nobel's death, Sweden and Norway were aligned under a single monarch. In 1905 the union was dissolved, and Norway retained responsibility for the peace prize while Sweden held on to the other prizes.

Gandy Boulevard upgrades

I have noticed a lot of survey work recently on Gandy Boulevard between the bridge and the dog track. Will there be lane closings?

What you were seeing was prep work for the resurfacing of Gandy Boulevard between Oak Street and the Gandy Bridge that started Monday, according to Kris Carson of the Florida Department of Transportation.

Also planned are pedestrian paths, consisting of both sidewalks and boardwalks, for both sides of Gandy. On the north side, the path runs from Oak Street to the Friendship Trail parking area. On the south side of Gandy, the path runs from Oak to a point east of San Fernando Boulevard. A timber boardwalk will go in front of Derby Lane and San Martin Village. Shoulders will also be added to both sides of Gandy.

The project cost is $3,513,209. It is expected to take the contractor 275 working days to finish. There will be lane closings, though not between 7 and 10 a.m. and 3 and 7:30 p.m., Carson said.

Q&A: Who awards the Nobel prizes? 10/19/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 6:32pm]

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