• Sweden's news in English

Medicine Nobel winner bows out of ceremony

TT/AFP/The Local · 4 Dec 2010, 08:52

Published: 04 Dec 2010 08:52 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Robert Edwards, will not attend the ceremony to receive his prize due to health reasons, according to the Nobel Foundation.

Edwards was awarded for his contributions to in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) technology, which have since resulted in nearly 4 million births.

The 85-year-old, whose work led to the birth of the first test-tube baby in 1978, was also too weak to give interviews when it was announced in October that he had won the prize. His wife Ruth will travel to Stockholm to collect the prize on his behalf.

Separately, China's ambassador to Sweden, Chen Mingming, has declined his invitation to attend the event.

Although Nobel Foundation CEO Michael Sohlman declined to speculate on the reason behind the refusal, China has objected to the selection of dissident Liu Xiaobo for the Nobel Peace Prize, which is chosen and awarded in Oslo, Norway.

"He turned it down, quite simply," said Sohlman.

All ambassadors stationed in Stockholm have received an invitation. The Nobel Peace Prize is also handed out on December 10th, but at a separate ceremony in Oslo.

Six countries -- China, Cuba, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Morocco and Russia -- are so far known to have declined the invitation to attend the Oslo ceremony.

China said Thursday it was "difficult to maintain friendly relations" with Norway following the decision to award this year's Peace Prize to Liu.

Liu remains incarcerated as a political prisoner in China. His wife Liu Xia, who had expressed a desire to receive the award on her husband's behalf, was placed under house arrest after visiting her husband in jail to inform him that he had won the prize.

Nobel Week kicks off on Monday for the other nine winners. As usual, the awards ceremony and banquet take place next Friday.

A total of 1,350 guests, of which 220 are students, will attend the Nobel banquet. The guest lists includes several ministers from the countries of the laureates, including Peru's culture minister and Japan's education and science minister.

Japan's Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki share the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with American Richard Heck, while Peru's Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded the prize in literature.

The 2010 physics prize is shared by Russian-born Andre Geim of the Netherlands and Konstantin Novoselov, who also holds British citizenship.

EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, who is responsible for research, will attend, along with Cypriot EU Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou. Vassiliou is a cousin of economic laureate Christopher A. Pissarides, who shares the prize with Americans Peter A. Diamond and Dale T. Mortensen.

Sohlman also defended on Friday his decision not to invite Jimmie Åkesson, the head of Sweden's far-right anti-immigrant Sweden Democrat party, to the ceremony. The party was elected to Sweden's parliament, the Riksdag, for the first time in September.

Story continues below…

All leaders of the Swedish parliamentary parties are traditionally invited to the sumptuous gala. Royal family members are also regular attendees.

"The reasons are very obvious. They are working at 180 degrees against us, or rather, [against] the values we stand for," he said.

"If you go on their website, the Sweden Democrats have a sort of pragmatic programme...where it's stated that their ideal is ethnically and culturally homogeneous people," Sohlman said, whereas Alfred Nobel wanted his prizes to be "cosmopolitan, international" awards.

The far-right party "clashes head on with the philosophy of this institution," he said.

In addition to his or her significant other, each prize winner is allowed to invite up to 14 individuals to the ceremony. Mortensen will be accompanied by his eight grandchildren aged nine to 17.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

11:23 December 4, 2010 by marianne667
Everybody should boycott that ceremony. My mother went years ago w/ her father and she found it longwinded and very boring.
11:37 December 4, 2010 by Rap43
Don't you proofread your articles?

Sum av yore misteaks r sew g-l-erring...
14:52 December 4, 2010 by Roy E
The Nobel committee is honoring test tube babies.

That's just lovely.

Who's your daddy? Oh, that's right. We're enlightened now. We don't need daddies anymore - it's a 'Brave New World'.
17:23 December 4, 2010 by stillwatersrd
@Roy E

(Acknowledging first that you were being facetious . . . we've never needed more what dads have to offer their children, or really, anyone's children.
02:55 December 5, 2010 by ilockitdown
screw IVF im for natural selection
08:34 December 5, 2010 by hilt_m
EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, who is responsible for research, will also along with her colleague, Cypriot EU Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, who is a cousin of economic laureate Christopher A. Pissarides, who shares the prize with Americans Peter A. Diamond and Dale T. Mortensen.

What the hell kind of long winded sentence is that? It's to long and goes nowhere, come on Local, a little editing please!
14:18 December 5, 2010 by JulieLou40
I was wondering who the lady on the right is. I was surprised to find out it is Louise brown, the world's first tst-tube baby. She was only born in 1978, which makes her almost ten years younger than me. Sadly, she looks at least 20 years OLDER than me. Couldn't believe it. She could pass for her mother!!
15:09 December 5, 2010 by Frobobbles
'Neither...nor...will not' ?
11:31 December 6, 2010 by glamshek
Please correct the headline ''Neither China's ambassador to Sweden nor the 2010 Nobel laureate in medicine will not attend the December 10th Nobel Prize award ceremony in Stockholm, the Nobel Foundation announced in a statement on Friday''

Should I tell you wats wrong with it or you wanna discover yourself ?
Today's headlines
Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available