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Alfred Nobel Biography

Probably few Swedish names are better known throughout the world than that of Alfred Nobel, and yet the general public knows very little about him. It recalls that Alfred Nobel was a great inventor, but exactly of what, besides dynamite, remains vague; it also knows that he was a great prize donor. But of his personal character hardly anyone has much of a notion, and if certain people have visualized him in their minds, the picture is not, as a rule, flattering. At times, some have imagined him to have been an uneducated man, somewhat vain and fond of both publicity and personal attention. But this picture is just the opposite of the true one. The real Alfred Nobel was a retiring, considerate person who detested all forms of publicity, a highly educated man and a thoroughgoing idealist. From the name one might conclude that his family was of foreign origin, descended perhaps from one of the many strangers who have come to Sweden to stay. Even Alfred Nobel’s own father seems to have bel
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Alfred Nobel Quotes

A heart can no more be forced to love than a stomach can be forced to digest food by persuasion. Contentment is the only real wealth. For me writing biographies is impossible, unless they are brief and concise, and these are, I feel, the most eloquent. For my part, I wish all guns with their belongings and everything could be sent to hell, which is the proper place for their exhibition and use. Good wishes alone will not ensure peace. Hope is nature’s veil for hiding truth’s nakedness. I intend to leave after my death a large fund for the promotion of the peace idea, but I am skeptical as to its results. I would not leave anything to a man of action as he would be tempted to give up work; on the other hand, I would like to help dreamers as they find it difficult to get on in life. If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied. Lying is the greatest of all sins. My dynamite will sooner lead to peace than a thousand world conventions. As soon as men will fi

Nobel Prize

Alfred Nobel’s last will and testament was remarkable in many ways. Friends and relatives received a good share of his fortune, but the larger portion, about 30 million Swedish kronor, went to a fund that would finance prizes of money to “those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind”. It soon turned out that the institutions which were named in the will to select the prize winners had not been informed in advance. In his will, Nobel had insisted that “no consideration whatever shall be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be a Scandinavian or not”. With all the protests, contradictions, and problems, it was five years after Alfred Nobel died before the first prizes could be awarded, on December 10th 1901. The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund , t

Nobel Peace Prize

The legacy of Alfred Nobel has echoed far through the years, and it hasn’t stopped building momentum yet. The mere mention of a Nobel peace prize raises eyebrows. For years, it has been a sign of prestige and a true honor to hold such a title as being one of its few and rare recipients. The story of just how these awards began has enthralled many people for years. When Alfred Nobel set up the Nobel prize awards in his last will and testament, it was a surprise to his heirs who knew nothing of his plans. They were equally shocked to discover the majority of the vast fortune that he had made was to go into funding them. Named after himself, many believe the funds set aside for the Nobel peace prizes to be a last gift of repentance for the deaths that occurred from his inventions and discoveries. The story of the burden’s that this fascinating man endured, and his final act of remorse have left more questions than answers. Alfred Nobel came from modest beginnings. The son of a poor invent

Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Alfred Nobel’s original intention was that most of his wealth should be used after his death for annual prizes to be awarded by the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences for the most outstanding discoveries or theories in the wide field of learning and progress as a whole. In his final will, how, ever, he gave up this plan and directed that the prizes were to be awarded in certain specific branches of science and learning only. It was but natural that one of these should have been chemistry. Nobel’s own researches had, after all, been chiefly devoted to problems in chemical technology, so that he had first hand knowledge of the importance of chemistry in our material progress. At the end of the nineteenth century, this science was making rapid and promising advances. Precision methods were beginning to be applied in the study of chemical phenomena. Scientists trained in the methods of physics had successfully tackled some of the fundamental problems in chemistry, and the no man’s land betw

Nobel Prize in Literature

In Alfred Nobel’s earlier will, the one made in Paris in 1893, and then cancelled, there was no specific bequest in regard to literature. Mention was made only in general terms of rewards for the most important and original discoveries or the most striking advances in the wide sphere of knowledge or on the path of human progress. Even though under these terms the presumptive legatee, in this case the Swedish Academy of Sciences, could have awarded prizes for literary achievements too, it is evident that the donor wished to aid, first of all, the exact sciences. It was not until he drew up his final will, in November 1895, that he made the stipulation that one of the five annual awards should be given to ‘the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work of an idealistic tendency’, and that it should be distributed by ‘the Academy in Stockholm’ by which the Swedish Academy was obviously meant. The assumption has been made that this significant chang

Nobel Prize in Physics

According to the present statutes of the Nobel Foundation, the Swedish Academy of Sciences has to award two of the five annual Nobel Prizes. one of these is to be given to ‘the person who has made the most important discovery of invention within the field of physics’. According to Nobel’s will these awards should be made for investigations presented during the preceding year – a provision clarified in the statutes by the statement ‘that the awards shall be made for the most recent achievements in the fields of culture referred to in the will and for older works only if their significance has not become apparent until recently’. In view of these provisions, it is clear that a survey of the prizes distributed during the past years will be essentially a summary of the development of physical science during that period. But the second quotation from the statutes, authorizing awards even for earlier research, implies that the activities rewarded actually cover a period extending considerabl

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

In his remarkable will of November 27, 1895, Alfred Nobel directed that the interest on his fortune should be ‘annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind’. He also specified that one of the five shares of the interest should be given ‘to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine’, and the task of selecting the winners of this award he entrusted to the Caroline Medico-Chirurgical Institute in Stockholm. Evidence of Nobel’s interest in experimental medical research was furnished by the Russian physiologist I. P. Pavlov, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1904. In his Nobel lecture that year he related that about ten years earlier he and his colleague, M. Nencki, professor of medical chemistry at St. Petersburg, had received from Nobel a considerable sum for the benefit of their respective laboratories. In his lette