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These are the winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize

In the past few days, Nobel Prizes were awarded in the categories of Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace and Economic Sciences. These were the winners.

Photograph of a Nobel Prize medal.

Photograph of a Nobel Prize medal. / Photo: Private file

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

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Leer en español: Conozca los ganadores del Premio Nobel 2019

In each of the disciplines, the Nobel seeks to recognize those who during the year have stood out for their initiatives, inventions, and studies. The purpose of these awards is to highlight the actions that the winner has done to history, humanity and the progress of their particular discipline.

Throughout history, people such as scientist Marie Curie have been recognized for their studies in radiation, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier for advances in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Barack Obama for his fight against nuclear weapons, Gabriel García Márquez for 'One Hundred Years of Solitude', among other important figures in history.

The Nobel Prize is awarded as a legacy of Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite, in addition to having registered another 255 patents. These are part of an honor that is paid to the inventor, who also stipulated in his will that this award be granted to remain "alive in the memory of each of the generations that are developed in today's world," said El Confidencial .

According to Forbes, “the award, endowed with nine million Swedish crowns (912 thousand dollars), will be delivered as is traditional, on December 10, at an official ceremony in the city hall of Oslo, capital of Norway, and of simultaneously the Nobel Prize in Physics, Chemistry, Peace and Literature in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden ”.

This year, the prizes were awarded as follows:

Medicine:

This year the Nobel Prize in Medicine was the first one who publicly met his winner, or his winners, in this case. The winners were William G. Kaelin Jr., Peter J. Ratcliffe, and Gregg L. Semenza, two Americans and one British. According to the Nobel Assembly, the three "identified molecular machinery that regulates gene activity in response to varying oxygen levels." Although the importance of oxygen has already been studied and understood, there was no knowledge about how cells adapt to oxygen levels, said Karolinska Institute, responsible for the Assembly. This discovery will allow in the future to develop new strategies to fight diseases such as anemia and cancer.

According to Forbes, the Nobel Prize in Medicine "has been awarded to 216 scientists since its creation in 1901, including 12 women."

Physics:

In this case, three people also received the prize. One of them, James Peebles, received half of it for his work on theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology. The theoretical physicist has specialized in seeking answers regarding the evolution of the universe and his research has laid the foundations for cosmological transformation.

The other half of the prize was taken by Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz for "the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star," said the Assembly. Exoplanets are planets that are outside the solar system, in the Milky Way. Their first discovery was in 1995 and since then they have discovered around 4000. These kinds of discoveries “challenge our preconceived ideas about planetary systems and are forcing scientists to review their theories about the physical processes behind the origins of the planets "said the Royal Academy of Sciences of Sweden.

Chemistry:

The winners were John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for their work in the development of aluminum ion batteries. This work said the Nobel Assembly, “leads to the foundation of a society free of fossil fuels. From this discovery, a system using commercial rechargeable batteries can be developed.

The German engineer Goodenough, in addition, became the oldest person to receive a Nobel Prize at age 97.

Literature:

This year the prize was awarded to the winner not only of 2019 but also of 2018 after a sexual harassment scandal prevented the awarding of that year. The scandal that emerged accused Jean-Claude Arnault, an influential figure of the Swedish culture scene and member of the Assembly that awards the prize of sexual harassment for 18 women, which led the foundation to a crisis that prevented recognition.

Finally, the 2019 winner was Peter Handke, an Austrian novelist. According to the Assembly, the prize was awarded “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and specificity of the human experience.” The winner of the prize in 2018 was Olga Tokarczuk, a Polish writer “for a narrative imagination that with passion encyclopedic represents the crossing of boundaries as a way of life, ”said the Assembly.

Peace:

Although it was spoken in the media that President Donald Trump was one of those selected as a possible winner for his approaches to peace with North Korea, the prize was taken by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, for its purpose of ending the dispute with its neighboring country, Eritrea. The prime minister seeks to resume and finalize a peace agreement that had been forgotten since 2000.

In making the announcement of the award, the Nobel Prize Committee also mentioned the progress in the internal reforms that Abiy has accomplished.

Economic sciences:

This award, the last to be announced, last Monday, October 14, was awarded to another trio of people. Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer. The prize was given for an experimental approach to ending poverty worldwide. The study that seeks solutions to end poverty has created an approach to divide the issues into smaller and more manageable. For example, “more effective interventions to improve educational outcomes or children's health. They have shown that these smaller and more precise questions are often best answered through carefully designed experiments among the most affected people, ”the committee said in a statement.

Esther Duflo also becomes the youngest person (at 46 years old) to win the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. In addition to being the second woman to win it, according to The Associated Press. Together with her husband Abhijit Banerjee they are the fifth couple to win this award.

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