The Nobel Prize

Get a history lesson on the Nobel Prize - awarded annually on December 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death - in our Review of the Week

Nobel prizes and nature’s surprises

Norrby, Erling. World Scientific, 2013
451p, 9789814520980 $98.00, 9789814520997 $58.00

Every year, the scientific community eagerly awaits the announcement of the Nobel Prizes. Though the significance of the research honored with these prizes is generally appreciated by the public, the behind-the-scenes stories of the research and the selection process of the prizes are largely unknown. In writing this book and his earlier work, Nobel Prizes and Life Sciences (2010), Norrby has drawn on both his long association with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and his experiences as one of the world’s leading virologists. With his background, he has unique access to the Nobel archives and real insight into the information they contain. The reader thus becomes privy to the discussions and significant controversies that went on as the Nobel committee considered the prizes covered in this book. The list of recipients of the Nobel Prizes discussed here is a veritable Who’s Who of modern science, all pioneers in their fields, who literally created the modern world of biology and medicine. The topics range from immunology to molecular genetics, biochemistry, and many others, and largely focus on prizes awarded between 1960 and 1962. This book will be fascinating and valuable to anyone studying this era of scientific discovery.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; informed general audiences.
Reviewer: R. K. Harris, William Carey University
Subject: Science & Technology – Biology
Choice Issue: Sep 2014