Pic , Text : Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

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Physics: For discoveries about ‘Black Hole’

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics was shared by three for discoveries about one of the ”most exotic phenomena in the universe, the black hole” Roger Penrose showed that the general theory of relativity leads to the formation of black holes. Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez discovered that an invisible and extremely heavy object governs the orbits of stars at the centre of our galaxy. A supermassive black hole is the only currently known explanation, said a press release by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Chemistry: Genome editing

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna “for the development of a method for genome editing”.

Since Charpentier and Doudna discovered the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors in 2012 their use has exploded. The genetic scissors have taken the life sciences into a new epoch and, in many ways, are bringing the greatest benefit to humankind, the academy stated in its official citation.

Physiology or Medicine: Fight against hepatitis

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded jointly to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice “for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus”, according to the academy. It said, “This year’s Medicine Prize is awarded to three scientists who have made a decisive contribution to the fight against blood-borne hepatitis, a major global health problem that causes cirrhosis and liver cancer in people around the world. The Nobel Laureates’ discovery of Hepatitis C virus is a landmark achievement in the ongoing battle against viral diseases”.

Literature: Louise Gluck is all about universal beauty

The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to the American poet Louise Glück “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”.

Glück made her debut in 1968 with Firstborn, and was soon acclaimed as one of the most prominent poets in American contemporary literature, according to the Swedish Academy.

Peace Prize: Banishing hunger is biggest peace tool;goes to WFP

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 to the World Food Programme (WFP). The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security. In 2019, the WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger.

Economics:Market auctions discover value

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2020 to Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats”.

The new auction formats are a beautiful example of how basic research can subsequently generate inventions that benefit society. The unusual feature of this example is that the same people developed the theory and the practical applications. The Laureates’ ground-breaking research about auctions has thus been of great benefit, for buyers, sellers and society as a whole.

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