2020 Nobel season opens with medicine prize

AFP
No prizes are expected to be awarded this year for work directly linked to the new coronavirus, as Nobel prizewinning research usually takes many years to be verified.
AFP
2020 Nobel season opens with medicine prize

Breakthroughs in the field of health will be honoured Monday when the 2020 Nobel season kicks off with the medicine prize, as the world battles the worst pandemic in a century.

The medicine prize announcement, due at 11:30 am (0930 GMT), will be followed by the physics prize on Tuesday and chemistry on Wednesday.

The literature and peace awards will follow on Thursday and Friday, while the economics prize wraps things up on Monday, October 12.

This year, the coronavirus pandemic has put the global spotlight on research.

"The pandemic is a big crisis for mankind, but it illustrates how important science is," Nobel Foundation head Lars Heikensten said.

No prizes are expected to be awarded this year for work directly linked to the new coronavirus, as Nobel prizewinning research usually takes many years to be verified.

The prize-awarding committees are "not in any way influenced by what is happening in the world at the time," Erling Norrby, the former permanent secretary of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences which awards the science prizes said.

"It takes time before a prize can mature, I would say at least 10 years before you can fully understand the impact" of a discovery, Norrby, himself a virologist, said.

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