The 2019 Nobel Prize Winners

By Teodor Teofilov

The 2019 Nobel Prize winners were awarded in October. From the discovery of the mechanism that cells use to sense and adapt to changing oxygen levels in the body to work on alleviating world poverty, the Nobel laureates have done amazing things to improve the world we live in. Below are all the winners in the order they were awarded.

Discovery of the Molecular Switch for How Cells Use Oxygen has Won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three researchers who discovered the mechanism that cells use to sense and adapt to changing oxygen levels in the body, announced the Nobel Prize Committee in Stockholm on October 7. William G. Kaelin Jr, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, and Gregg L. Semenza identified molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen and will share a third of the 9 million Swedish kronor (about $907,173) prize.

“Oxygen is essential for life, and is used by virtually all animal cells in order to convert food to usable energy,” said Randall Johnson of the Karolinska Institute, a member of the Nobel Committee, at a press conference in Sweden announcing the award on Monday morning. “This prize is for three physician scientists who found the molecular switch that regulates how our cells adapt when oxygen levels drop.”

Kaelin is a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He was born in 1957 and obtained his M.D. from Duke University, Durham. Kaelin trained in internal medicine and oncology at Johns Hopkins University and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Ratcliffe was born in 1954. He studied medicine at Cambridge University and completed nephrology training at Oxford. Subsequently he became the Nuffield Professor of Clinical Medicine at Oxford and the Director of Clinical Research at the Francis Crick Institute in London, Director for Target Discovery Institute at Oxford, a Member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and knighted.

Semenza is a professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and Director of the Vascular Research Program at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering. He was born in 1956, got both an MD and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and completed residency training in pediatrics at Duke University and a postdoc at Johns Hopkins University.

Their discovery is “the mechanism for one of life’s most essential adaptive processes” and has already led to promising new strategies for treating anemia and cancer, among other diseases.

Animals and humans need oxygen to make use of the energy in food and without it there would be no life. The oxygen we breathe breaks down chemical bonds in calories and realeases the energy that our cells use. This process has been understood for centuries, but what wasn’t known was the process of how cells adapt and respond to differing oxygen levels.

Oxygen levels throughout the body can fall — for example during exercise or at high altitudes. These low oxygen levels (hypoxia) can lead to new blood vessel formation, blood cell formation or glycolysis (anaerobic fermentation). Although many people might know about hypoxia, Ratcliffe has called it “an important component of many human diseases including cancer, heart disease, stroke, vascular disease, and anemia.”

The prize winning scientists have revealed the mechanism for how hypoxia triggers a rise in the hormone erythropoietin (EPO), which is involved in the production of red blood cells.

“Cells and tissues are constantly experiencing changes in oxygen availability,” Johnson said. “As an embryo grows and develops, as muscles work, the oxygen available changes as the tissues themselves change. Cells need a way to adjust to the amount of oxygen they have, while still doing their important jobs.”

According to the committee, these discoveries are of vital importance and could lead the way for new strategies to fight anemia, cancer and many other diseases.

Below is the interview by freelance journalist Lotta Fredholm with Professor Randall Johnson, Member of the Nobel Assembly.

Oxygen in the spotlight

About a fifth of the Earth’s atmosphere is made up of oxygen and it is essential for the existence of life. It is used by the mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) to convert food into energy. Otto Warburg, awarded the 1931 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, revealed that his conversion is an enzymatic process. Corneille Heymans received the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for showing that the carotid arteries in the neck have special cells that sense the blood’s oxygen levels and control our respiratory rate in response.

Semenza added another key physiological adaptation to hypoxia — that when oxygen levels drop EPO rises in the body and sends a signal to increase the production of red blood cells (red blood cells carry oxygen around the body).

“The importance of hormonal control of [red blood cells] was already known at the beginning of the 20th century, but how this process was itself controlled by O2 remained a mystery,” the Nobel committee said in a press release.

Semenza used genetically-modified mice to figure out that DNA segments near the EPO gene control the cell’s response to low oxygen levels.

Ratcliffe built on that work. He also studied “O2-dependent regulation of the EPO gene, and both research groups found that the oxygen sensing mechanism was present in virtually all tissues, not only in the kidney cells where EPO is normally produced.”

Semenza discovered that a protein he named “hypoxia-inducible factor,” (HIF) mediated the oxygen response and by 1995, he had also identified the genes that encode HIF: HIF-1a and ARNT.

At about the same time as Semenza and Ratcliffe were making their discoveries about the EPO gene, Kaelin was studying the Von Hippel-Lindau disease(VHL), and inherited syndrome. He found another genetic response to changing oxygen levels. This genetic disease leads to dramatically increased risk of certain cancers in families with inherited VHL mutations. Kaelin showed that the VHL gene encodes a protein that prevents the onset of cancer. He noticed that when cancer cells don’t have a working VHL gene they had “abnormally high levels of hypoxia-regulated genes,” but when the gene was reintroduced normal levels were restored.

This finding was an important clue showing that VHL was somehow involved in controlling responses to low oxygen levels.

In 2001, two in two simultaneously published articles Kaelin and Ratcliffe showed that a type of protein modification, known as prolyl hydroxylation, allowed VHL to recognize and bind to HIF-1a, which was another part of the puzzle of understanding the mechanism of sensing oxygen and how it worked.

“Thanks to the groundbreaking work of these Nobel Laureates, we know much more about how different oxygen levels regulate fundamental physiological processes,” the Committee said. “Oxygen sensing allows cells to adapt their metabolism to low oxygen levels: for example, in our muscles during intense exercise.”

The Committee added that “oxygen sensing is central to a large number of diseases.”

“The work by Ratcliffe, Kaelin and Semenza has been crucial to our understanding of how cells sense and respond to changes in oxygen levels,” Dr Alex Greenhough at the University of the West of England who works on cancer biology said to the Guardian. “Their work is of huge significance to diseases that feature an impaired blood supply, which includes important solid tumours such as breast, colorectal and pancreatic cancers. Their outstanding work on the fundamental mechanisms of oxygen sensing will pave the way for future therapies that will be able to exploit the disease-specific nature of hypoxia for clinical benefit”

The committee said that labs and pharmaceutical companies around the globe are racing to develop drugs “that can interfere with different disease state by either activating, or blocking, the oxygen-sensing machinery.”

“Scientists often toss around this phrase ‘textbook discovery’” said Johnson in an interview with freelance journalist Lotta Fredholm. “But I’d say this is really a textbook discovery.”

You can watch the announcement ceremony below.

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded to Trio for Furthering our Understanding of Earth’s Place in the Cosmos

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics was jointly awarded to three scientists for furthering our understanding of the universe on Tuesday. James Peebles was awarded half of the 9 million Swedish kronor (about $907,000) for “theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology,” while the other half was split between Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz for “the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.”

“This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics rewards new understanding of the universe’s structure and history, and the first discovery of a planet orbiting a solar-type star outside our solar system,” tweeted the Nobel committee. “The discoveries have forever changed our conceptions of the world.”

Canadian-American Peebles, Albert Einstein Professor of Science at Princeton University developed, since the mid-1960s, a theoretical framework that forms the basis of our understanding of the history of the universe.

The Big Bang theory describes the universe from its very first moments, almost 14 billion years ago, when it was extremely hot and dense. Since then the universe has been expanding, becoming larger and colder and it was barely 400,000 years after the Big Bang that it became transparent and light rays were able to travel through space. Today the remnants of this ancient radiation are all around us, coded into it are the many secrets of our universe.

Peebles used his theoretical tools and calculations to interpret these traces from the beginning of our universe and discovered new physical processes. His results showed that we know only about 5 percent of the content of our universe, with the other 95 percent being unknown dark matter and dark energy, which is a mystery and a challenge to modern physics.

“This is a mystery and a challenge to modern physics,” said the committee in a press release.

“My advice to young people entering science: you should do it for the love of science,” Peebles said at a press conference following the announcement. “You should enter science because you are fascinated by it.”

Ulf Danielsson, a member of the Nobel Committee, commented: “Both these prizes… tell us something essential, something existential about our place in the Universe.”

“The first one, tracing the history back to an unknown origin, is so fascinating. The other one tries to answer these questions about: ‘are we alone – is there life anywhere else in the Universe?’”

Mayor, a professor at the University of Geneva, and Queloz, a professor at the University of Geneva and the University of Cambridge, focussed their research on looking for unknown worlds in the Milky Way and in 1995 they discovered the first exoplanet outside of our solar system. 51 Pegasi b, a gas giant like Jupiter orbiting a star 50 light-years away. Its discovery “started a revolution in astronomy,” according to the press release.

Mayor and Queloz used the pioneering radial velocity technique, which detects distant worlds indirectly, by measuring how a parent star “wobbles” when it is tugged on by the gravity of an orbiting planet.

Following the Swiss duo’s discovery there have been more than 4,000 exoplanets found in the Milky Way. New worlds are constantly being discovered with a vast wealth of sizes, forms and orbits. These new discoveries challenge ideas and theories about planetary systems and force scientists to reconsider the physical processes behind the origins of planets. With future discoveries we might even find alien life.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Queloz to BBC News. “Since the discovery 25 years ago, everyone kept telling me: ‘It’s a Nobel Prize discovery’. And I say: ‘Oh yeah, yeah, maybe, whatever.'”

“This year’s Nobel laureates in physics have painted a picture of a universe far stranger and more wonderful than we ever could have imagined,” Danielsson said at a news conference. “Our view of our place in the universe will never be the same again.”

You can watch the announcement ceremony below.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to Scholars Behind the Development of Lithium-ion Batteries

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on October 9 to three scientists who developed the lithium-ion batteries that revolutionized portable electronic devices. It is very likely that the device you are using to read this article is powered by such a battery. Larger versions of the lithium-ion batteries are used in electric cars for long distance travel and miniaturized versions are used in some medical devices like defibrillators.

John B. Goodenough, Cockrell Chair in Engineering at The University of Texas, M. Stanley Whittingham, Distinguished Professor at Binghamton University, State University of New York, and Akira Yoshino, Honorary Fellow at Asahi Kasei Corporation, Tokyo, Japan and professor at Meijo University, Nagoya, Japan, will share the prize, which is worth about $900,000.

“Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionised our lives since they first entered the market in 1991,” said the press release. “They have laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society, and are of the greatest benefit to humankind.”

“Live to 97 [years old] and you can do anything,” Goodenough said in a statement. “I’m honored and humbled to win the Nobel Prize. I thank all my friends for the support and assistance throughout my life.”

Whittingham laid the foundation for the lithium-ion battery during the oil crisis in the 1970s. He worked on creating methods that would lead to fossil fuel-free energy technologies. While researching superconductors, Whittingham discovered an extremely energy-rich material, which he used to create an innovative cathode — the side of your battery with the plus sign — in a lithium battery. He discovered that titanium disulfide, which had never been used in batteries before, had a molecular structure that allowed lithium-ions into small pockets. This resulted in the first functional lithium battery.

Whittingham’s new battery had an unfortunate problem — when charged repeatedly, thin strands of metallic lithium would grow out from the negative electrode. They would sometimes grow so long that they reached the cathode and would short-circuit the battery, and could explode.

Whittingham, was recruited to work at Exxon in the 1970s. This energy-rich material excited Exxon management — until the first lithium batteries began to short-circuit and catch fire.

“They had a few explosions, and decided to get out of the alternative-energy business,” Goodenough told the New Yorker in 2010.

Goodenough predicted that the lithium-ion batteries would have greater potential if the cathode was made from a different material — using a metal oxide instead of a metal sulphide. In 1980, he noticed that cobalt oxide was similar in structure to titanium disulfide and could tolerate having lithium pushed into it and pulled out multiple times. This made the battery twice as powerful as Whittingham’s, which generated two volts.

Yoshino built on Goodenough’s work and showed that more complicated carbon-based electrodes could house lithium-ions in between their layers as well. This made the system use only lithium-ions instead of pure lithium in the battery, because they are safer. Yoshino created the first commercially viable lithium-ion battery in 1985, which later led to its commercialization by Japanese electronics giant Sony Corporation.

The lithium-ion batteries that resulted were lightweight, hardwearing and could be charged hundreds of times before their performance deteriorated. The advantage of these batteries is that they aren’t based on chemical reactions that break down the electrodes, but upon lithium ions flowing back and forth between the anode and cathode.

“Through their work, they have created the right conditions for a wireless and fossil fuel-free society, and so brought the greatest benefit to humankind,” the Nobel Foundation wrote.

Lithium batteries have already dramatically changed how we handle energy and scientists are continuing to develop and improve them. Even if these improvements don’t happen, now seems to be a good time to honor the people who played key roles in getting us here.

“We can see an enormous, dramatic effect on society because of this fantastic battery,” professor Olof Ramström, member of the Nobel Committee, told freelance journalist Joanna Rose.

You can watch the announcement ceremony below.

Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke Win the 2018 and 2019 Nobel Prizes in Literature

The Swedish Academy announced the winners for both the 2018 and 2019 Nobel Prizes for Literature on October 10.

The 2018 Prize had been delayed for a year following a sexual assault scandal that engulfed the Swedish Academy. It was awarded to Polish author Olga Tokarczuk, who won the Man Booker International Award for her novel Flights — a book that the Washington Post called “a beautifully fragmented look at man’s longing for permanence…. Ambitious and complex.”

She wasn’t a favorite to win the award but she is a welcome choice. Tokarczuk has long been considered one of the greatest Polish writers that is often overlooked in the literary scene. When her book debuted in the UK, Bookseller was thrilled that “she is probably one of the greatest living writers you have never heard of”.

Women have been historically underrepresented and Tokarczuk has become the 15th woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, out of 116 laureates. She won the 2018 Nobel literature prize “for a narrative imagination that with encyclopaedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life”, the Swedish Academy said.

“I’m very happy, and I am proud that I am with Peter Handke, and that we, both of us, we are from central Europe,” said Tokarczuk to Adam Smith, Chief Scientific Officer of Nobel Media. “It’s really very meaningful for me, this Nobel Prize is going to central Europe. I’m really, really very proud.”

The 2019 Prize went to Austrian author Peter Handke, and this choice is proving to be quite divisive and controversial. Handke is called “the world’s most prominent apologist” for the Serbian dictator and alleged war criminal Slobodan Milošević, who was charged with the Bosnian Genocide in 2001. Milošević passed away in 2006 in prison during his trial before a verdict was reached. Handke delivered a speech at Milošević’s funeral. He has spoken out in favor of Milošević’s regime previously, claiming that the dictator was misrepresented in the Western media. Most infamously he purported that the massacres of Bosnian Muslim men and boys by Serbian troops were staged by the Muslims themselves.

The decision to award Hendke by the Swedish Academy has been baffling for many observers for lauding such a notorious figure, after announcing that it intends to move away from the “male-orientated” and “Eurocentric” perspective.

PEN America, a free speech organization, issued a statement that formally condemned the Nobel Committee’s decision.

“PEN America does not generally comment on other institutions’ literary awards. We recognize that these decisions are subjective and that the criteria are not uniform. However, today’s announcement of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature to Peter Handke must be an exception,” said PEN America president and Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan. “We reject the decision that a writer who has persistently called into question thoroughly documented war crimes deserves to be celebrated for his ‘linguistic ingenuity.’ At a moment of rising nationalism, autocratic leadership, and widespread disinformation around the world, the literary community deserves better than this. We deeply regret the Nobel Committee on Literature’s choice.”

Kosovo’s ambassador to the US, Vlora Citaku, and the Acting Foreign Minister of Albania, Gent Cakaj have also tweeted against the choice.

“Have we become so numb to racism, so emotionally desensitized to violence, so comfortable with appeasement that we can overlook one’s subscription and service to the twisted agenda of a genocidal maniac?” tweeted Citaku.

“As a passionate believer in literature’s eternal beauty and power to enrich human experience and as a victim of ethnic cleansing and genocide, I’m appalled by the decision to award the Nobel Prize in literature to a genocide denier. What an ignoble and shameful act we are witnessing in 2019!” tweeted Cakaj.

Mats Malm, the Swedish Academy’s permanent secretary, told The New York Times that the committee chose on a literary and aesthetic basis and that “it’s not the academy’s mandate to balance literary quality against political considerations.”

“It was very courageous by the Swedish Academy, this kind of decision,” Hendke told reporters, according to Reuters. “I feel a strange kind of freedom, I don’t know, a freedom, which is not the truth, as if I were innocent.”

By awarding the prizes to two renowned European authors, the academy has seemed to brush off the criticism that the prize is too Western and Eurocentric — since the awards inception most of the laureates have been European and English-language authors.

You can watch the announcement ceremony below.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Awarded 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for Efforts for Peace, in Particular in Resolving Eritrea Border Conflict

The Nobel Prize for Peace was awarded on October 11 to the prime minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, for his work in restarting peace talks with neighboring Eritrea and beginning the restoration of freedoms in his country after decades of political and economic repression.

Abiy broke a two decade long stalemate between Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country, and Eritrea, its small and isolated neighbour. In 2018, when he became prime minister he began sweeping reforms at home and started peace negotiations with Isaias Afwerki, President of Eritrea.

Although the two countries share a lot of ethnic and cultural ties, it wasn’t until July 2018 that the conflict that has separated families, complicated geopolitics and cost the lives of more than 80,000 people was stopped.

“The prize is also meant to recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in a release. “Peace does not arise from the actions of one party alone. When Prime Minister Abiy reached out his hand, President Afwerki grasped it, and helped to formalise the peace process between the two countries.”

In the official announcement, the Nobel Committee detail a number of accomplishments that Abiy has achieved in his first 100 days as prime minister. He lifted the country’s state of emergency, granted amnesty to thousands of political prisoners, discontinued media censorship, legalized outlawed opposition groups, dismissed military and civilian leaders that were suspected of corruption, and significantly increased the influence of women in Ethiopian political and community life. Abiy also pledged to strengthen democracy by holding free and fair elections.

“Abiy Ahmed has initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life and a brighter future,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.

Old ethnic rivalries have flared up in Ethiopia lately and according to international observers, up to three million ethiopians may be internally displaced. This is an addition to the million or so refugees and asylum seekers from neighbouring countries. There are many challenges ahead of Abiy as ethnic strife escalates.

“No doubt some people will think this year’s prize is being awarded too early,” the Nobel Committee statement said. “The Norwegian Nobel Committee believes it is now that Abiy Ahmed’s efforts deserve recognition and need encouragement.”

The Nobel peace prize has been awarded 100 times to 134 Nobel Laureates—107 individuals and 27 organizations—between 1901 and 2010.

There have been questions about whether the Norwegian Nobel Committee should not only announce the winner, but also add a loser by rescinding past awards to those who no longer deserve them. Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi and former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger often feature on that ignominious list of the undeserving.

A brief history of the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict

The conflict between the two African countries is rooted in an earlier war. In the 1960s, Ethiopia annexed Eritrea, creating a 30-year conflict. Eritrea held a referendum in 1993, where the countries residents voted overwhelmingly for independence, causing the official split of the two.

In May 1998, both Eritrea and Ethiopia claimed ownership of a border town called Badme — a town that isn’t strategically useful or important, which led to the conflict being described as “two bald men fighting over a comb.”

The border dispute led to a violent conflict that caused the death of more than 80,000 people and the displacement of thousands more. In 2000, both countries signed a peace agreement and established a border commission to resolve the issue, which in 2002 awarded the town to Eritrea. However, Ethiopia demanded further negotiations, but Eritrea refused to negotiate unless it was given Badme. The two countries remained locked in a stalemate for the next two decades, which the Norwegian Nobel Committee called a “no peace, no war” stalemate.

During this time, the president of Eritrea used the conflict to institute mandatory and indefinite military conscription and created a closed and repressive regime, often called the North Korea of Africa.

“In September 2001, the government closed all independent newspapers and arrested their editors and leading journalists. None were brought to trial,” Human Rights Watch reported. As of 2017, “They remain in solitary detention. There are reliable reports that about half of them had died.”

Over the years, hundreds of thousands of Eritreans have fled to Ethiopia, Europe, and elsewhere, adding to the migrant crisis. Concurrently, tensions between Ethiopia and Eritrea showed no signs of abating.

That is until Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister in April 2018, when he made it clear that he wished to resume peace talks with Eritrea. Abiy worked in close cooperation with Afwerki and quickly worked out the principles of a peace agreement, with an important premise for the breakthrough being Abiy’s unconditional willingness to accept the arbitration ruling of the international boundary commission in 2002.

The award recognised Abiy’s “efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, the Norwegian Nobel committee’s chair.

“I am so humbled and thrilled … thank you very much,” said Abiy to the Guardian. “It is a prize given to Africa, given to Ethiopia, and I can imagine how the rest of Africa’s leaders will take it positively to work on the peace-building process in our continent.”

You can watch the announcement ceremony below.

The Nobel Prize in Economics was Awarded to Trio for Their Work on Poverty. One was the Youngest Recipient Ever.

Three economists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics on October 14 for their work on alleviating global poverty by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Abhijit Banerjee, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Esther Duflo, also a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Michael Kremer, a professor at Harvard University, pioneered an approach to reduce poverty, based on carefully designed experiments that aimed to answer specific policy questions, according to the prize committee.

Duflo is the youngest person and second woman to be awarded the prize. Her and Banarjee are married.

“This year’s Laureates have introduced a new approach to obtaining reliable answers about the best ways to fight global poverty,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement. “In just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics, which is now a flourishing field of research.”

The three researchers have been studying interventions in a range of areas in tackling global poverty — direct cash transfers to the extremely poor, policing drunk driving, studying the effects of access to textbooks on students, combating teacher absenteeism and more.

Their research has had a focus on randomized controlled trials, where the intervention is delivered in one area but not a control area, which enables them to identify which effects are because of the intervention. Their work has been extremely influential, pushing others in the field to conduct higher-quality studies.

It’s not an overstatement to say that their research has been vital in finding ways to reduce global poverty. In the 1990s, Kremer showed how powerful dividing poverty into smaller, more manageable, questions can be. He used field experiments to test a range of interventions to see how school results could be improved in Western Kenya. Kremer broke down the questions he was interested in until concrete policy proposals rose and tested them to determine which ones worked.

The approach has been expanded and refined, and has transformed the field. The methods and tools that Duflo, Banerjee and Kremer established has been used by hundreds of researchers, governments and NGOs all over the world to make policy decisions — how to improve education, assist the poorest citizens, make public health intervention work and more.

Duflo said in a news conference after the announcement that it “really reflects the fact that it has become a movement, a movement that is much larger than us.”

The Nobel committee highlights a few examples of the research that was particularly impactful and important. First, a series of randomized control trials on schooling in Kenya by Kremer and co-authors in the mid 1990s. Second, work by Duflo and Banerjee on variation in productivity within poor countries, which has implications for why they stay poor And third, work on improving the experimental methods and figuring out how the results of the studies conducted can be generalized to other areas.

While new innovations and methods will undoubtedly be needed to continue to fight against poverty in the future, the impact of Kremer, Duflo and Banerjee’s work has been huge.

“The Laureates’ research findings — and those of the researchers following in their footsteps — have dramatically improved our ability to fight poverty in practice,” the committee wrote. “As a direct result of one of their studies, more than five million Indian children have benefitted from effective programmes of remedial tutoring in schools.”

Jakob Svensson, member of the Prize Committee for Economic Sciences, told freelance journalist Fanny Härgestam that “this research could reduce global poverty.”

The Nobel Prize in Economics — technically called the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, wasn’t established by Alfred Nobel in his will in 1895, but was created in 1968 by a donation from Sweden’s central bank and is awarded with the other Nobel Prizes.

Kremer, Duflo and Banerjee will share the prize worth 9 million Swedish kronor, or about $900,000.

For more information on their research, click here.

You can watch the announcement ceremony below.

One thought on “The 2019 Nobel Prize Winners

  1. Pingback: The 2019 Nobel Prize Winners – Perfectly Plain – ThePlanet1st

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