Thursday, July 1, 2010
The Will That Established the Nobel Prizes!!!
The life of Alfred Nobel and start of the nobel prize, which is considered as probably the biggest honor that one can recieve in today's world, makes a very interesting read.....
Alfred Nobel was born on October 21, 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden. His father Immanuel Nobel, an architect, builder, and inventor, opened a machineshop in St. Petersburg and was soon very successful with contracts from the Russian government to build defense weapons.
Because of his father's success, Alfred was tutored at home until the age of 16. Besides being a trained chemist, Alfred was an avid reader of literature and was fluent in English, German, French, Swedish, and Russian. He spent much of this time working in a laboratory in Paris, but also traveled to the United States. Upon his return, Alfred worked in his father's factory. He worked there until his father went bankrupt in 1859.
Alfred soon began experimenting with nitroglycerine, creating his first explosions in early summer 1862. In only a year (October 1863), Alfred received a Swedish patent for his percussion detonator - the "Nobel lighter."
Though he recognized the destructive power of dynamite, Alfred believed it was a harbinger of peace. Alfred told Bertha von Suttner, an advocate for world peace,
My factories may make an end of war sooner than your congresses. The day when two army corps can annihilate each other in one second, all civilized nations, it is to be hoped, will recoil from war and discharge their troops.*
In 1888, when Alfred's brother Ludvig died, a French newspaper mistakenly ran an obituary for Alfred.
The obituary stated Le marchand de la mort est mort ("The merchant of death is dead")and went on to say, "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday."
This made a big impact on the thought process of Alfred Nobel , which subsequently let to the initiation of what is now called the most prestigious honour " The Nobel prize " .
Alfred Nobel, chemist and inventor, died alone on December 10, 1896 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.
After several funeral services were held and Alfred Nobel's body was cremated, the will was opened. Everyone was shocked.
The following is a portion of Alfred Nobel's will, dated November 27, 1895 and signed by Alfred Bernhard Nobel.
The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way:
The capital shall be invested by my executors in safe securities and shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind. The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work of an idealistic tendency; and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.
The prizes for physics and chemistry shall be awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences; that for physiological or medical works by the Caroline Institute in Stockholm; that for literature by the Academy in Stockholm; and that for champions of peace by a committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting. It is my express wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration whatever shall be given to the nationality of the candidates, so that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be a Scandinavian or not.*