Nobel Museum Exhibition workshop highlights contribution of Alfred Nobel and Prize winners in medical field

Monday 29 February 2016
Klas Kärre

Dubai - MENA Herald: Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF), a member of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, organised the first of a series of workshops as part of the activities of the Nobel Museum Exhibition 2016 in Dubai. The exhibition has been hosted by the Foundation at Children's City in Dubai Creek Park, and will continue until March 21.

The workshop led by Professor Klas Kärre, Former Chairman of the Nobel Award Committee for Physiology and Medicine and member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, was held in the presence of His Excellency Jamal bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of MBRF, and a group of specialists from the medical field, as well as university students and representatives of the local media.

During the workshop, Kärre highlighted the life of Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Prize, and his contributions to inventions and research. Kärre explained how Nobel gained knowledge working with his father on the use of gunpowder and how his experiences led to the invention of the dynamite and 300 other inventions. The inventions led Nobel to establish several factories and companies as well as laboratories for the development of gunpowder industry, Kärre said.

The workshop looked at Nobel’s will which required his entire wealth to be utilised for giving away five prizes in various fields that serve humanity and offer solutions to improve people’s lives. Kärre explained during the workshop that the will was severely contested by the Nobel family and others for a period of five years as people eyed Nobel’s massive wealth. However, the keenness of his assistant, a chemical engineer, helped implement Noble’s will and the distribution of Nobel Prize from 1901 in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature and Peace.

The workshop shed light on the mechanism to select the winners of the Nobel Prize, explaining the functioning of the jury and the evaluation of the nominations. It also looked at the main winners of the elite prize in the medical field, specifically in the areas of vaccines and treatments of disease and the discovery of chromosomes.

Reviewing the statistics about the Nobel Prize, Kärre explained that youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize is Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani human rights activist who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 when she was just 17.

Focusing on women’s share in the Nobel Prize, Kärre stated that 12 women have been awarded the Nobel Prize out of a total of 210 people who have won 106 Nobel Prizes. Kärre said the average age of the award winners is 58-year-old, and Switzerland and the United Kingdom have won the largest number of Nobel Prizes. As many as 900 institutions have been awarded the Nobel Prize so far, Kärre added.

Kärre pointed out that there have been instances when relatives have won the Nobel Prize, such as mother and daughter, father and daughter, and husband and wife. In one case, six members of one family won the prize. He noted that the Nobel Prize has witnessed a lack of nominations from the Middle East and South America.

The second workshop in the series will be held on March 6 under the title, ‘Nobel Prizes: Life and the Dance of Large Molecules’, while the third workshop on March 13 will highlight the experience of Nobel Laureates in Physiology and Medicine. Nobel Museum Exhibition 2016 receives visitors every day from 9 AM to 8 PM, except on Fridays when it opens from 3 PM to 9 PM.

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