They say, “Where there is smoke, there is fire.” Now we all know the Nobel Prizes have been in the talk for years together. Not only do we honor the brightest minds, but also set up expectations for the future. Furthermore, every year, the committee presents five awards in different fields. Most worthy candidates win this award. But, having said that, do you believe everything goes as smooth sailing as it looks? Of course not. With every prestigious ceremony comes some controversies and questions. Be it refusals or canceled Nobel ceremonies. Be it about the founder or the enmities. We have got it all.
Well, today Brag Social serves you a controversial episode of history. We dive into the different controversies that took place in the Nobel Prize history.
The Legacy Himself:
Alfred Nobel was the founder of the Nobel Prize. It is a well-known fact that the foundation gave his bequeathed assets as Nobel Prizes back in the day. But, Alfred had controversies revolving around him. He did not have the best public image. Even though he gave the world a great invention like dynamite, he was not looked up to during his time. Moreover, when his sibling died, newspapers were confused. They thought Nobel had died. Well, people also called him the ‘merchant of death’. The most shocking controversy about Alfred was that he had gained all his wealth by killing people. This was an indication of the dynamite invention.
The not so covalent bond:
Gilbert N. Lewis propagated the idea of covalent bonds, electron pairing, and the Lewis structure in the field of Chemistry. For his path-breaking work, the Nobel Foundation nominated him over 41 times. But, he never won. The story begins with the fact that Lewis worked at Walther Nernst’s laboratory. While working with him Lewis started to disagree with Walther. Additionally, there was a lifelong enmity between Lewis and his former teacher. The engrossing fact about this controversy was Walther Nernst was on the Nobel committee for the field of Chemistry. He did not win because of the long-lost enmity between the teacher and the student.
The unpeaceful peace prize:
In 1939, a shocking turn of events took place. Adolf Hitler was graciously nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Well, yes you read that right. We were just as shocked as you are. This had caused a humongous stir of conversation. Moreover, even though it was only a funny joke, no one was amused. People were angry. And, the foundation took back the nomination. Having said that, Joseph Stalin was in the nominations. But, this was a serious elect and sent across shock waves.
A no thank you:
As we all know it, the Nobel Prize is the most prestigious award. Everyone dreams to excel in their fields to someday get the Nobel Prize. But, one nominee rejected to accept this award. Jean-Paul Sartre was a famous writer. Moreover, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964. Although, he refused it as he did not want to be institutionalized. He mostly rejected official distinctions and did not want to pollute his work with awards. This was a great controversy in the history of the Nobel Prize institution.
The biggest scandal:
The committee canceled The Nobel Prize in Literature in 2017. This was one of the biggest controversies. In the back and forth events of the newspaper, journalists revealed shocking facts. The husband of one of the academy members in the Swedish Committee was involved in a sexual abuse controversy. Moreover, this series of events were an accumulation of 20 years. This revelation caused the Swedish Committee to cancel the Nobel Prize in Literature. It was a rare event and had never occurred in the past.
Not so musical:
In 2016, for the first time in Nobel Prize history, the foundation awarded a music song-writer. Furthermore, Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in literature. This award caused conversations between various people in the industry. A lot of people said they were fans of this musician. But, the other nominations thought the committee was objectifying the award. Although, while this was one of the arguments the others said, it was Dylan’s work that was objectified. The main motive for this controversy was that music was not literature. But, in the modern eyes of the committee, it is a form of literature and should be honored.
After having looked at the multiple controversies of the Nobel Prize History it teaches us one thing. Everything comes with a prize. While we conclude this article we realize how scandalous one of the most prestigious awards have been. These six scandals are only a few examples. There were many more and maybe more to come. Although we cannot let go of the fact that this Award honors legends themselves. It is the epitome of recognition. Hence, it comes with multiple disagreements. Moving forward, we can only hope for the correct recognition for people who changed the world.
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