Another year, another set of great men and women awarded for their achievements. So just in case you’re missed any, we’ve put this handy list together so you can read all about them. I’ve also reserved this occasion to tell you about the Nobel Prize for peace — just to end on a happy note.
— ICBL (@minefreeworld) October 7, 2016
The 2016 Nobel Prize for peace has been awarded to current Colombia’s 32nd and current President Juan Manuel Santos “for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end”.
Colombia’s civil war has been a 52-year-long debacle (the first word that came to mind didn’t make it pass the profanity filter) in which multiple armed groups, including the military, paramilitary groups, criminal organizations, and several (!!!) separatist groups have been killing each other and civilians over control of the country. Colombia’s National Centre for Historical Memory estimates that 220,000 people have died in the conflict between 1958 and 2013, most of them civilians (177,307 civilians and 40,787 fighters) and more than five million civilians were forced from their homes between 1985 and 2012.
Santos and the leader of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) known as Timochenko have been working hard to establish peace in Colombia, and have signed a peace deal last month. Unfortunately, a referendum on Oct. 3rd narrowly rejected the plan.
The Nobel committee said it hoped that the prize would encourage the two to continue working for peace.
“There is a real danger that the peace process will come to a halt and that civil war will flare up again. This makes it even more important that the parties, headed by President Santos and Farc guerrilla leader Rodrigo Londoño, continue to respect the ceasefire,” said the committee chairwoman, Kaci Kullmann Five.
“The fact that a majority of the voters said no to the peace accord does not necessarily mean that the peace process is dead. The referendum was not a vote for or against peace. What the no side rejected was not the desire for peace, but a specific peace agreement. The committee emphasises the importance of the fact that President Santos is now inviting all parties to participate in a broad-based national dialogue aimed at advancing the peace process.”
Hopefully, the country will soon be able to enjoy peace.
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 13, 2016
Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in literature for his unique expression in the American song tradition. His works are often compared to poems put to song, and touch on subjects usually reserved for literary works — such as politics, or the condition of man.
The award recognizes his talent as a man of literary might, as well as songwriting prowess.
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 10, 2016
The Nobel Prize in economics has been awarded to UK-born Oliver Hart from Harvard University and Finland-born Bengt Holmström from MIT for their work on improving contracts — the mortar that holds our economies together. Hart changed our perspective about how contracts should distribute responsibility, while Holmström showed how to make them more efficiently assign rewards for each party.
Their work is already being put to use by companies around the world, and the award recognizes their part in making our lives go that bit more smoothly.
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 5, 2016
The Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to Jean-Pierre Sauvage from the University of Strasbourg, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart affiliated with Northwestern University, and Bernard L. Feringa from the University of Groningen for their advancements in the field of molecular machines. They developed methods to create the tiniest bits of these tiny mechanisms — axles, chains, or engines that can be used to create nanoscale devices.
The award recognizes the trio’s work, who gave us minuscule tools to start a huge revolution.
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 4, 2016
The Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to David Thouless from the University of Washington, Duncan Haldane from Princeton University, and to Michael Kosterlitz from Brown University for using mathematical topology to prove the existence of matter states previously thought impossible.
The award recognizes their creation of the theoretical background on which future advances in superfluids, superconductors, and electronics will start from.
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 3, 2016
The Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology has been awarded to Japanese biologists Yoshinori Ohsumi for his work in autophagy, the self-recycling processes of cells. His research on yeast has allowed him to identify the genes which supervise the process, and how distortions in autophagy can lead to diseases such as cancer.
The award recognizes his efforts in discovering one of the most fundamental processes of complex life, and in how it relates to a host of conditions.