Originating in Sweden, Nobel Prizes are international awards in recognition of scientific and cultural achievements.
Alfred Nobel, a chemist, engineer, and inventor, established the awards in 1859. In 1901 prizes in Literature, Peace, Chemistry Physics and Medicine were first awarded.
The process in which recipients are chosen is intricate and lengthy.
Nominations are sent by the Nobel Committee to about 3000 individuals. These are mostly individuals who are working in a field relevant to the five areas of prizes. Through a tedious process, the nominees are narrowed down to about 300.
The selection committee then narrows the list even further and submits a list of preliminary candidates to the prize-awarding institutions. At that point, the institutions meet to choose the winner or winners in each field by a majority vote.
The recipient is then announced and is awarded a sum of money, a diploma, and a gold medal.
The entire selection process takes over one year to complete.
Since the beginning of the awards, only four people have been known to receive two Nobel Prizes.
Maria Sklodwaska-Curie was the first to receive two Prizes.
She first won the award in Physics in 1903 for her discovery of radioactivity. Later, in 1911, she received the award in Chemistry for her segregation of pure radium.
John Bardeen was the two-time winner of the Noble Prize in Physics. His first win came in 1956 for his invention of a transistor, and the second in 1972 for his “theory of superconductivity.”
In 1958, Frederick Sanger received the first of his Nobel Prizes in Chemistry for “determining the structure of the insulin molecule.” Later in 1980 his recognition was for the invention of how to determine base sequences in DNA.
Linus Pauling was among this elite group of individuals. In 1954, Pauling received the Chemistry Award for his research on the chemical bond. He again won in 1962 for his anti-nuclear activism, where he received the Peace Prize. The achievement of this second award made him the only winner of two unshared prizes.
What a “Nobel Honor” honor it is to have your name and accomplishments recognized by group of colleagues and peers.