The Nobel Prize and Nobel Laureate of 2020

What is the Nobel Prize?

The Nobel Prize is an annual international recognition to the people by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in culture, academic or scientific advances, which confer the “greatest benefits on humankind.” The Nobel Prize is a will of the Swedish chemist, engineer, and industrialist Alfred Nobel, who established five Nobel Prizes in 1895. For the first time in 1901, Nobel Prize was awarded in Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, and Physiology or Medicine.

In 1968, Sweden’s central bank established the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Science in the memory of Alfred Nobel on the bank’s 300th anniversary. And in 1969, the First Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Ragnar Frisch and Jan Tinbergen.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Physics. The Sveriges Riksbank award the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. The Nobel Assembly awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine at the Karolinska Institute awards. The Swedish Academy grants the Nobel Prize in Literature, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee awards the Nobel Peace Prize to the people who confer the greatest benefit to humankind. 

From the beginning of the Nobel Prize until 2019, the prize is awarded 597 times to the 950 people and organizations. Some received more than once, and it comes to a total of 27 organizations and 908 selves. In some of the years, the Nobel Prize was not awarded, mostly during World War One and World War Two. The Foundation says that if none of the works found according to their consideration, the award should be altered for the following year. And if it happens the same in the next year, the amount shall be added to the Foundation’s restricted found.

The Nobel Prize ceremony occurs in Stockholm, Sweden, except the peace prize, where the Nobel Laureate receives a gold medal, a diploma, and an amount of money decided by the Nobel Foundation. The peace prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway. An award can’t be distributed to more than three people but can be given to a group of more than three people. 

Nobel Foundation:

Alfred Nobel had written so many wills during his lifetime. But after listening to Alfred Nobel’s obituary, he changed his will that he wanted to be remembered after his death. His last will be specified that his prosperity should be used for a series of prizes for the people who confer humanity’s greatest benefit in different fields. Nobel handed down his 94% of assets to establish Nobel Prize.

According to his will, which was read in Stockholm on December 30, 1886, a foundation would be established by Alfred Nobel to reward those who serve humanity. And on December 10, 1886, Nobel died. But his will was approved in April 1897, and the executors of the Will Ragnar Sohlman and Rudolf Luijequist formed the Nobel Foundation to take care of his fortune and reward the prizes. Soon after the approval of his Will, prize awarding organization was designated.

The Foundation was founded as a private organization and to function the Nobel Prizes finances and administration. The Nobel Foundation also needs to market the prizes internationally. The Foundation is not involved in the selection process of Nobel Laureate. It is similar to an investment company. The Foundation is free from any taxes, and the trustees select members of the board.

Who Are The 2020 Nobel Laureate:

Nobel Prize for Literature: Louise Glick

Louise Glick:

2020 Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to the U.S. poet Louise Glick. Swedish Academy said that she was awarded for her unmistakable poetic voice that makes the individual existence universal with an austere beauty. She was born in 1943, New York, lives in Massachusetts. Professionally she is a professor at Yale University. The U.S. President Barrack Obama was also awarded Glick the National Humanities Medal in 2016 and the only American to win Bob Dylan in 2016.

Glick won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for her collection The Wild Iris and the National Book Award in 2014. Her other honors include the 2001 Bollingen Prize for Poetry, the Wallace Stevens Award in 2008. She was also the editor of the anthology The Best American Poetry 1993.

Glick’s name was not widely known outside the U.S. Her writing expresses the sadness and grief of human beings and a regular part of her hand. So she is known as a depressing writer.

Notable awards:

  • Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1993)
  • Bollingen Prize (2001)
  • U.S. Poet Laureate (2003–2004)
  • National Book Award (2014)
  • National Humanities Medal (2015)

Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine: Michael Houghton, Charles Moen Rice & Harvey James Alter

A) Michael Houghton:

Michael Houghton is known for his co-discovery of the Hepatitis C and Hepatitis D virus. He co-discovered Hepatitis C And Qui-Lim Choo, George Kuo, and Daniel W. Bradley in 1989 and Hepatitis D Genome in 1986.

Houghton born in the U.K. in 1949. His father was a truck driver and union officials. At the age of 17, he was inspired to become a microbiologist after reading about Louis Pasteur. In 1977 he completed his PhD degree from Kings College London.

Currently, Houghton is Canada Excellence Research Chair in Virology and Li Ka Shing Professor of Virology at the University of Alberta, where he is also Director of the Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute. And for 2020, he is the co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice for their leading discovery of HCV as the causative agent of non-A, non-B hepatitis.


  • 1992 – Karl Landsteiner Memorial Award
  • 1993 – Robert Koch Prize
  • 1994 – William Beaumont Prize
  • 2000 – Lasker Award
  • 2005 – Dale A. Smith Memorial Award
  • 2009 – Hepdart Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2013 – He became the first person to decline the $100,000 Gairdner Foundation International Award stating, “I felt that it would be unfair of me to accept this award without the inclusion of two colleagues, Dr Qui-Lim Choo and Dr George Kuo.”
  • 2019 – Honorary doctorate of science from the University of East Anglia

B) Charles Moen Rice:

Charles Moen Rice is known for his research area Hepatitis C Virus, because of which he became the Medicine or Physiology Nobel Laureate in 2020. He is an American virologist. Born in 1952 in Sacramento, California, U.S. He is a virology professor at the Rockefeller University in New York City.

In 1981 Rice received his PhD degree in Biochemistry from California Institute of Technology. Rice is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and was president of the American Society for Virology from 2002 to 2003. He received the 2016 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, jointly with Ralf F. W. Bartenschlager and Michael J. Sofia.


  • 1986 Pew Charitable Trust scholarship
  • 2004 Elected fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 2005 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences
  • 2005 Elected fellow, American Academy of Microbiology
  • 2007 M.W. Beijerinck Virology Prize
  • 2015 Robert Koch Prize
  • 2016 Artois-Baillet Latour Health Prize
  • 2016 Lasker Award

C) Harvey James Alter:

Harvey James Alter, an American medical researcher, virologist, physician, and 2020 Medicine or Physiology Nobel Laureate for his co-discovery of the Hepatitis C Virus.

Alter was born in 1935, New York City, New York, the U.S., in a Jewish family. After a B.A. degree at the University of Rochester, he obtained a medical degree from the University of Rochester. 

Alter is the former chief of the infectious disease section and the associate director for research of the Department of Transfusion Medicine at the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center in the National Institutes of Health (N.I.H.) Bethesda, Maryland. 

Alter has received recognition for the research leading to the discovery of the virus that causes hepatitis C. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, and the highest award conferred to civilians in United States government public health service.


  • Karl Landsteiner Memorial Award (1992)
  • Lasker Award (2000)
  • International Society of Blood Transfusion Presidential Award (2002)
  • American College of Physicians (2005)
  • Gairdner Foundation International Award (2013)

The Nobel Prize in Physics: Andrea Mia Ghez, Reinhard Genzel, Roger Penrose

A) Andrea Mia Ghez :

Andrea Mia Ghez is an American Astronomer. She is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles. She focuses on her research in the center of the milky Way Galaxy. And her co-discovery with Reinhard Genzel and Roger Penrose of a supermassive compact object will be recognized as a black hole in the Milky Way’s galactic center. She will be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Born in 1965, New York City, New York, the U.S. attended the University of Chicago Lab School. The Apollo program’s moon landing inspired her to aspire to the first female astronaut. She completed her PhD degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1992. 

In 2004, Ghez was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2019, she was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society (A.P.S.).

Ghez has come off in a long list of documentation produced by the B.B.C., Discovery Channel, and The History Channel and in Nova’s episode in 2006. She was identified as a Science Hero by The My Hero Project, and she was in the top 20 scientists list of the United States’ Discover Magazine.


  • Annie J. Cannon Award in Astronomy (1994)
  • Packard Fellowship award (1996)
  • Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy of the American Astronomical Society (1998)
  • Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award of the American Physical Society (1999)
  • Sackler Prize (2004)
  • Gold Shield Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence (2004)
  • Marc Aaronson Memorial Lectureship (2007)
  • MacArthur Fellowship (2008)
  • Crafoord Prize in Astronomy (2012)
  • Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (2012)
  • Royal Society Bakerian Medal (2015)
  • Honorary Doctorate of Science, University of Oxford (2019)
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society (2019)
  • Elected a Legacy Fellow of the American Astronomical Society (2020)

B) Reinhard Genzel:

Reinhard Genzel is a German Astrophysicist, professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, and an emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. Because of his work with his Colleague, Andrea Ghez, and Roger Penrose, “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy,” which will be recognized as a black hole in the Milky Way’s galactic center awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for Physics.

Genzel was born in 1952, Bad Homburg Vot Der Hohe, West Germany. He completed his PhD from the University of Bonn. He also stands on the selection committee of Shaw Prize in astronomy.


  • Otto Hahn Medal (1980)
  • Balzan Prize (2003)
  • Shaw Prize (2008)
  • Crafoord Prize (2012)
  • Tycho Brahe Prize (2012)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society
  • Harvey Prize (2014)

C) Roger Penrose:

Roger Penrose is an English mathematical physicist, mathematician, philosopher of science, and Nobel Laureate in Physics for his co-discovery “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity” with Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez. He is Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, an emeritus fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, and an honorary fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge, and University College London (U.C.L.).

Penrose was born in 1931, Colchester, England, UK. He is the son of Margaret, geneticist and psychiatrist Lionel Penrose. From University College London, Penrose completed his BSc degree, and from St John’s College, Cambridge, he completed his MSc and DPhil degree. 


  • Adams Prize (1966)
  • Heineman Prize (1971)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society (1972)
  • Eddington Medal (1975)
  • Royal Medal (1985)
  • Wolf Prize (1988)
  • Dirac Medal (1989)
  • Albert Einstein Medal (1990)
  • Naylor Prize and Lectureship (1991)
  • Knight Bachelor (1994)
  • James Scott Prize Lectureship (1997–2000)
  • Karl Schwarzschild Medal (2000)
  • De Morgan Medal (2004)
  • Dalton Medal (2005)
  • Copley Medal (2008)
  • Fonseca Prize (2011)

The Nobel Prize in Peace: World Food Programme

World Food Programme:

The World Food Programme (W.F.P.) was established on December 19, 1961. It is the United Nations’ food-assistance branch and the world’s largest humanitarian organization, which focused on hunger and food security across the globe. W.F.P. is headquartered in Rome, and it has 80 offices around the globe. W.F.P. provides food assistance to the people in 83 countries each year. In 2019, it reached 88 countries. It’s the majority of the food supply goes to the conflict zone. It has 17,000 staff as per data of 2018. Its parent organization is the United Nations General Assembly.

In addition to emergency food aid, W.F.P. focuses on relief and rehabilitation, development aid, and special operations, making food systems more resilient against climate change and political instability. It has prioritized achieving S.D.G. 2 for “zero hunger” by 2030. And because of its efforts to provide food assistance in conflict areas to the needy, it was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. It is also acting as a driving force to stop the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Jennifer Anne Doudna, Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier

A)Jennifer Anne Doudna:

Jennifer Anne Doudna is known for her First X-ray based structure of catalytic R.N.A. She is an American biochemist, a Li Ka Shing Chancellor Chair Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 1997, she is also working as an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Because of her CRISPR gene editing work, she was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Jennifer Anne Doudna was born on February 19, 1964, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Doudna completed her graduation from Pomona College in 1985 and completed her PhD degree from Harvard Medical School in 1989.


  • Alan T. Waterman Award (2000)
  • Jacob Heskel Gabbay Award (2014)
  • Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2015)
  • Princess of Asturias Award (2015)
  • Japan Prize (2017)
  • Kavli Prize in Nanoscience (2018)
  • Wolf Prize in Medicine (2020)
  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2020)

B) Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier:

Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier is known for the bacterial CRISPR/Cas9 immune system’s molecular mechanisms and repurposing it into a tool for genome editing. Charpentier revealed that a small R.N.A. called tracrRNA is essential for the growth of crRNA. Because of her work “for the development of a method for genome editing” with Jennifer Doudna, they were awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. 

Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier was born December 11, 1968, Juvisy-Sur-Orge, France. She is a French professor and researcher in microbiology, genetics, and biochemistry. Since 2015, she has been a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin. In 2018, she founded an independent research institute, the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens.


  • Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine (2015)
  • Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2015)
  • Princess of Asturias Award (2015)
  • Canada Gairdner International Award (2016)
  • Leibniz Prize (2016)
  • Pour le Mérite (2017)
  • Japan Prize (2017)
  • Kavli Prize in Nanoscience (2018)
  • Wolf Prize in Medicine (2020)
  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2020)

Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences: Robert Butler “Bob” Wilson, Jr., Paul Robert Milgrom

A) Robert Butler “Bob” Wilson, Jr.

Robert Butler “Bob” Wilson, Jr. is known for his contributions to management science and business economics. His nonlinear pricing research has influenced big corporations’ policies, especially in the power industry and electricity. He was jointly awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Economics, together with his Stanford colleague Paul R. Milgrom, “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.”

Robert Butler was born on May 16, 1937, in Geneva, Nebraska; the U.S. is an American economist and the Adams Distinguished Professor of Management, Emeritus, at Stanford University. He completed his M.B.A. in 1961 and his D.B.A. in 1963 from the Harvard Business School. He served at the University of California, Los Angeles, for a very short time, and after that, he joined the faculty at Stanford University in 1964. He was also an affiliated faculty member of Harvard Law School from 1993 to 2001.


Golden Goose Award (2014)

BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award (2015)

John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science (2018)

B)Paul Robert Milgrom

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Paul Robert Milgrom was one of the leading figures in a new economic theory movement among a group of researchers tackling new sets of problems using the tools of modern non-cooperative game theory. He is the co-creator of the no-trade theorem with Nancy Stokey, also is the co-founder of several companies. He was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Economics, concurrently with Robert B. Wilson, “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.”

Milgrom was born on April 20, 1948, in Detroit, Michigan, the U.S. He was an American economist and the Shirley and Leonard Ely Professor of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford universities. He is the specialist in game theory, precisely auction theory, and pricing strategies. 

Milgrom graduated from the University of Michigan in 1970. Milgrom became a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries in 1974. His dissertation on the theory of auctions won the Leonard Savage prize.


Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics (2008)

BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award (2012)

Golden Goose Award (2014)


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