Last Updated: October 04, 2023, 14:22 IST
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences may have announced the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry prematurely, The Associated Press reported citing Swedish media. The academy sent a press release by mistake early Wednesday that contained the names of the winners, according to Public broadcaster SVT.
Earlier, it was reported that the prize went to three US-based scientists for the “discovery and synthesis of quantum dots.” “Unfortunately, I cannot comment on what has been published yet. What is important to know is that the Academy of Sciences has not yet met and there is no decision on who will be awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry,” Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences spokeswoman Eva Nevelius said in an email.
No decision had been made Wednesday morning and if a press release had gone out it would definitely have been a mistake, expert on the Nobel committee for chemistry Heiner Linke told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. The prize is set to be announced at 11:45 a.m. (local time) in Sweden.
On Tuesday, the physics prize was awarded to French-Swedish physicist Anne L’Huillier, French scientist Pierre Agostini, and Hungarian-born Ferenc Krausz. They provided an unprecedented glimpse into the superfast world of spinning electrons, a fundamental aspect of various fields, including chemistry, physics, biology, and technology.
On Monday, Hungarian-American Katalin Karikó and American Drew Weissman won the Nobel Prize in medicine for their groundbreaking work in enabling the development of mRNA vaccines against Covid-19.
Last year, Americans Carolyn R. Bertozzi and K. Barry Sharpless, along with Danish scientist Morten Meldal, jointly received the Nobel Prize in chemistry. Their innovative approach involved “snapping molecules together,” facilitating research in cellular biology, DNA mapping, and the design of more precise disease-targeting drugs.
The chemistry prize marks the midpoint of the Nobel season, with announcements for literature, peace, and economics forthcoming, scheduled for weekdays until October 9.
Notably, the Nobel Foundation increased the prize money this year by 10 percent, amounting to 11 million kronor (approximately $1 million). Moreover, Nobel laureates are presented with an 18-carat gold medal and a diploma during the award ceremonies held in December.
(With agency inputs)