The two eldest laureates, 88-year-old British novelist Doris Lessing who won the literature prize and 90-year-old economics co-prizewinner Leonid Hurwicz of the United States, were absent due to poor health.
In Norway, the winners of the prestigious peace prize, former US vice president Al Gore and the UN’s top climate panel IPCC, received their award at a separate ceremony at Oslo’s city hall earlier on Monday.
The Nobel prizes are traditionally presented on December 10, the anniversary of the death of the creator of the awards, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, in 1896.
The Stockholm ceremony, held amid pomp and circumstance in the capital’s Concert Hall, was to be followed by a gala banquet for 1,300 guests at City Hall attended by Sweden’s royal family and members of the government.
Each Nobel prize consists of a diploma, a gold medal, and a cheque for 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.56 million) to be shared if there is more than one laureate.
The prizewinners, decked out in white tie and tails, each accepted their awards from the hands of the king and bowed to the royal family and assembled guests as a fanfare played.
The eight being honoured were economics laureates Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson of the United States, Mario Capecchi and Oliver Smithies of the United States and Briton Martin Evans for the medicine prize, Gerhard Ertl of Germany for the chemistry prize, and physics laureates Peter Gruenberg of Germany and Albert Fert of France.
At the Oslo festivities, Gore said in his acceptance speech that humanity was “waging war” on the Earth and urged the United States and China to join the fight against global warming as he accepted his prize.
“Both countries should stop using the other’s behaviour as an excuse for stalemate and instead develop an agenda for mutual survival in a shared global environment,” Gore said at the lavish event.