Live Blog: 2012 Nobel Prize announcements

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Live Blog: 2012 Nobel Prize announcements

The winners of the 2012 Nobel Prizes are being announced this week in Stockholm. The Local brings you all the latest news, reactions, and details surrounding the winners and why they won.


Monday, October 15th: Economics Prize

David Landes, 4.33pm

And with this post, we're drawing the curtain on this year's Nobel Week Live Blog. What a whirlwind of excitement and controversy it's been. Now all six Nobel Prizes for 2012 have been awarded. And eyes are now looking ahead to December when the prizes will be handed out in a gala ceremony in Stockholm (as well as one in Oslo for the Peace Prize).

Thanks to all the readers who tuned in on Twitter and here on the Live Blog. Be sure to scroll through all the updates included below to relive each day's events.

So long until next year.

David Landes

Editor, The Local

Oliver Gee, 3.23pm

The Local's David Landes snagged Staffan Normark, permanent secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy for a quick question. For more from the interview, as well as updated info on the winners, click here.

Rebecca Martin, 02.48pm

It would seem as if one of the two winners; Lloyd S. Shapley, is still unaware that he has been awarded the 2012 prize. According to Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter he isn't answering his telephone.

Oliver Gee, 2.13pm

Even though David has left the building, the updates are still coming. I have it on good authority that The Local spoke to Staffan Normark, permanent secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy about today's decision.

Stay tuned to hear what he said, and more.

David Landes, 2.00pm via Twitter

Oliver Gee, 1.38pm

Fun Fact: Every year since 2000, at least one winner of the Riksbank Economics Prize has been from the US.

Rebecca Martin, 1.22pm

One of the two winners, Alvin Roth, told the gathered press over the phone from the US that he was asleep when he got the call and that he doesn't yet know what he will spend the prize money on.

"When I go to class this morning, my students will pay more attention now," said Roth live form the US on what appeared to be a very bad phone line.

David Landes, 1.18pm via Twitter

David Landes, 1.16pm via Twitter

Rebecca Martin, 1.09pm

For more information on the winners, look here.

David Landes, 1.06pm via Twitter

Roth is from Harvard, Shapley is from UCLA

Rebecca Martin, 1.04pm

WINNERS ANNOUNCED: And the prize goes to: Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design".

David Landes, 12.52pm via Twitter

Oliver Gee, 12.48pm

Did you know that Leonid Hurwicz - the oldest Laureate in Economic Sciences ever - was 90 when he was awarded the Prize.

David Landes, 12.39pm via Twitter

MIT professor Stephen A. Ross is another hot Nobel Economics name from Thomson Reuters for his work on 'arbitrage pricing theory'.

David Landes, 12.30pm via Twitter

No better way to spend a grey Monday in Stockholm than heading to the announcement of the 2012 Nobel Prize in economics.

Rebecca Martin, 11.54am

My esteemed colleague David Landes is about to head out to the Royal Academy of Sciences (RSAS) to find out who the 2012 Nobel Laureate in Economy will be. We're not taking bets - but it's probably safe to say it won't be the EU.

Don't miss out - make sure to follow David on Twitter for the latest news from the announcement.

David Landes, 11.39am

Less than two hours away from today's Nobel announcement. One of the hot names to win this year is Robert J. Shiller, a professor at Yale University.

According to Thomson Reuters, Schiller's work on understanding financial market volatility, outlined in part in his best selling book from 2000 "Irrational Exuberance", may be recognized by the prize committee this year.

Oliver Gee, 10.12am

A bit of trivia for you: The first woman to win the Economics Prize was Elinor Ostrom of the United States, who took home the award in 2009 "for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons". She remains the only woman to win the prize.

David Landes, 9.48am

Good morning and happy Monday! Welcome to the final day of our live coverage of the 2012 Nobel Prize announcements.

Later today (1pm) we'll learn who will take home the economics Nobel, formally known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

Why the mouthful of a title?

Well, the economics prize is not one of the Nobel Prizes originally established following Nobel's death in 1895.

Instead, it was created in 1968 through an endowment provided by Sweden's central bank, the Riksbank, as a way to mark the bank's 300th anniversary.

The first winners were Dutch and Norwegian economists Jan Tinbergen and Ragnar Frisch, who in 1969 received the award "for having developed and applied dynamic models for the analysis of economic processes."

Last year, the economics prize was awarded to US economists Thomas J. Sargent and Christopher A. Sims "for their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy".

Friday, October 12th: Peace Prize

David Landes, 3.43pm

Well, that's a wrap for today and for a week full of Nobel news. Of course "Nobel Week" will creep into next week as well, with Monday's awarding of the economics prize.

In case you've been away, here's a quick rundown of our stories about each of this week's winners:

Medicine: Nobel in medicine goes to stem cell researchers

Physics: Physics Nobel shared for quantum optics research

Chemistry: Two Americans share 2012 Nobel for chemistry

Literature: Chinese author Mo Yan awarded Nobel lit prize

Peace: Swedish ministers hail EU Nobel Peace prize win

Hope to see you back here on Monday for the unveiling of the final Nobel Prize winner(s) of 2012.

Oliver Gee, 2.52pm

The choice of the EU for the Nobel Peace Prize doesn't sit well with everyone. Check out this vox pops photo gallery of what some Stockholm residents and Swedish politicians think about the choice.

David Landes, 1.41pm

Foreign minister Carl Bildt has now published a post on his official blog further elaborating his feelings about the EU Peace Prize

"I warmly congratulate the 500 million Europeans on our common union receiving the Nobel Peace Prize," Bildt wrote.

"At a time when other issues are also dominating the daily agenda for EU cooperation, it's important that we're reminded of the important basis for our cooperation."

David Landes, 12.21pm

Want to read some of the reactions to the prize announcement from Swedish ministers? Click here.

David Landes, 11.51am

Speaking with the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, Cecilia Malmström, the Sweden European Commissioner for Home Affairs said she was at first "very surprised" upon hearing that the EU had won the Peace Prize.

She was also struck that Norway, which is not a member of the EU, played a role in recognizing the EU as a force for peace.

"It's ironic that Norwegians have reminded us how valuable [European] cooperation has been," she told the paper.

Oliver Gee, 11.36am

For those asking why the Peace Prize is announced in Norway and not Sweden… look no further.

There was a union between Sweden and Norway at the time that Alfred Nobel wrote his last will and testament (in 1895), a union that lasted until 1905. It is due to this union that the Peace Prize is still presented in Norway.

Nobel’s will states that the prize should be awarded by a committee of five people chosen by the Norwegian Storting (Parliament of Norway) – exactly how it is still done today.

Oliver Gee, 11.18am

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt on Twitter following the announcement: "I warmly congratulate all of Europe and our peace to the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union. Highly deserved and highly important!"

David Landes, 11.11am

Here is some more information on the announcement from The Local Norway.

Oliver Gee, 11.04am

WINNERS ANNOUNCED: And the prize goes to:

The European Union for "over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe."

Oliver Gee, 10.24am

With the Peace Prize being awarded in Norway, we won't be live blogging from the scene, but we will announce the details here. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 11th: Literature Prize

Oliver Gee, 4.58pm

Another full day of Nobel fun over. Phew. Be sure to check out our interview with Peter Englund of the Swedish Academy about the Mo Yan, his books, and the reasons he won.

Furthermore, in light of the Nobel Peace Prize being announced tomorrow (Friday), check out our interview with Nobel historian Fredrik S. Heffermehl who claims the Norwegian Nobel Committee isn't following Alfred Nobel's wishes.

Other than that, scroll down here for our entire live blogging from the scene today, and be sure to check in tomorrow for day five.

Thanks for reading and have a great evening.

Oliver Gee, 3.27pm

Haven't read Mo Yan? The academy spells it out for you:

"Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition," the academy said.

David Landes, 1.58pm

For all you Nobel lit trivia buffs (or rather, trivia buff wannabes), here is a list of Nobel Literature Prize winners from the last 15 years:

2012: Mo Yan (China)

2011: Tomas Tranströmer (Sweden)

2010: Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru)

2009: Herta Mueller (Germany)

2008: Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio (France)

2007: Doris Lessing (Britain)

2006: Orhan Pamuk (Turkey)

2005: Harold Pinter (Britain)

2004: Elfriede Jelinek (Austria)

2003: J.M. Coetzee (South Africa)

2002: Imre Kertesz (Hungary)

2001: V.S. Naipaul (Britain)

2000: Gao Xingjian (France)

1999: Gunter Grass (Germany)

1998: Jose Saramago (Portugal)

David Landes, 1.58pm

Apparently Sweden's Trade Minister Ewa Björling is also excited about the literature prize going to a Chinese author, speculating that it might boost trade ties between Sweden and China.

"The Nobel Prize is an incredibly strong brand and regardless of who receives it, it strengthens awareness of Sweden, thus increasing business opportunities," she told the TT news agency.

David Landes, 1.52pm

I'm no expert on Chinese politics or literature, but I am reminded at how angry Chinese officials were when jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

Unlike then, I'd like to think the Chinese government won't try to stop Yan from coming to Stockholm in December.

And I wonder if the Academy took the Xiaobo incident into account when they made their decision to give the lit prize to Yan.

David Landes, 1.47pm

The Academy also noted that Yan has "despite his social criticism is seen in his homeland as one of the foremost contemporary authors".

David Landes, 1.40pm

The Academy's Göran Malmqvist spoke with Yan on the phone, saying the Chinese writer was thrilled at having been awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature.

"I'm overjoyed, but I'm a little frightened also," Yan said on the telephone, according to Malmqvist.

Oliver Gee, 1.35pm via Twitter

Oliver Gee, 1.06pm

Read more about the winning author and the reasons for his victory: here

Oliver Gee, 1.01pm

WINNER ANNOUNCED: And the prize goes to:

Mo Yan "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary".

Oliver Gee, 12.53pm

The room is absolutely overflowing. Announcement in seven minutes.... stay tuned.

Oliver Gee, 12.48pm via Twitter

David Landes, 12.44pm

My colleagues tell me it's pretty packed in the hall with only 15 minutes left before the announcement. Journalists, book worms...and who knows who else.

The question now is...will this year's Lit Prize winner raise or lower the average age of Literature Laureates (64).

Either way, that means I've still got at least a couple of decades left to make a name for myself as an author worthy of a Nobel.

Rebecca Martin, 12.38pm via Twitter

The announcement will be read by Swedish author and historian Peter Englund, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, at 1pm. #NobelLit

Oliver Gee, 12.35pm via Twitter

If Bob Dylan wins and they call him up to announce it... I am gonna yell out "How does it feeeeel?" #RollingStone

David Landes, 12.31pm

Less than 30 minutes now...the tension is mounting yet again. My colleagues Oliver and Rebecca (see posts below) are getting settled in the grand hall at the Swedish Academy ahead of the announcement.

An interesting fact to chew on while we await the big news:

According to, Boris Pasternak, author of "Doctor Zhivago", actually refused his Literature prize in 1958 for fear of repercussions in his home country, the Soviet Union.

However, the Academy refused his refusal and his son ended up accepting the prize in his decease father’s place in 1989.

Rebecca Martin, 12.28pm via Twitter

Oliver Gee, 12.22pm via Twitter

Rebecca Martin, 12.14pm via Twitter

Oliver Gee, 12.08pm via Twitter

Oliver Gee, 12.04pm via Twitter

Rebecca Martin, 12.03pm via Twitter

David Landes, 12.02pm

We're now less than an hour away from the Literature Prize announcement. Did you know that the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature was the author of the Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling.

He was only 42 when he won in 1907.

Oliver Gee, 11.55am via Twitter

Rebecca Martin, 11.29am

About to head off to the Literature Announcement at the Swedish Academy in Gamla Stan. Stay tuned.

Oliver Gee, 10.33am

Did you know....

Jean-Paul Sartre won the award in 1964 but refused to accept it. He claimed "a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution." Sartre was the first person to ever refuse a Nobel Prize.

David Landes, 10.01am

I've read my fair share of books over the years, including a number from past Nobel Prize winners, but I have to admit (sheepishly) that I have yet to pick up a novel by any of the authors tipped as possible winners this year.

Check out The Local's list of "Seven Hot Names" included in this year's flurry of speculation.

How many have you read (or listened to)?

Oliver Gee, 9.48am

Staff at the Kolmården animal park in central Sweden turned to their dolphins for prediction help on the literature laureate. Ten balls were thrown into the dolphin pool, each with the name of a Nobel favourite. The name on the ball that was brought back to the trainer? Algerian novelist Assia Djebar.

Oliver Gee, 9.00am

Hold on to your hats, folks, it's the Nobel Prize in Literature today. If you missed it yesterday, the majority of Stockholmers we asked said that Literature was their favourite Nobel subject.

Today, both myself and Rebecca Martin will be on the scene in Gamla Stan to hear the announcement, tweeting you every detail (as well as some fun facts along the way).

Wednesday, October 10th: Chemistry Prize

Rebecca Martin, 3.58pm

Well, that's a wrap for today's Nobel fun. Don't miss all the great blog postings below - scroll down for a taste of what happened during day three of the Nobel Prize announcement week here in Sweden.

And tune back in tomorrow (Thursday) for what most people say is their "favourite" Nobel prize - literature. The announcement of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature is scheduled to take place around 1pm.

Oliver Gee, 1.40pm

Check out this quick video of The Local's Rebecca Martin interviewing Sara Snogerup Linse of the Royal Academy following Wednesday's announcement:

David Landes, 12.09pm via Twitter

David Landes, 13.05pm

The Local's own Rebecca Martin in interviewing Sara Snogerup Linse of the Royal Academy to learn more about the significance of the science behind this year's chemistry prize.

Oliver Gee, 12.52am

If you're sitting back, thinking "Why can't I just have a more detailed explanation with diagrams and a colour picture or two", then the good news is that it’s all here for you, thanks to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

David Landes, 12.42pm

Just had a look at the website of the Lefkowitz lab and was surprised to find sections for "Lab Halloween Party 2010" as well as a funny video titled "Why we are pursuing careers in science and not performing arts...." and featuring a less-than-professional rendition of "12 days of Christmas".

Who says scientists don't know how to have fun?

David Landes, 12.15pm

So, three down, three to go for this year's Nobel Prize announcements. I wasn't able to follow the whole explanation, but I couldn't help laugh when the Academy member giving the talk paused, grabbed a cup of coffee, took a sip, and sighed.

"Ahh, Thanks to these G-protein–coupled receptors I can really enjoy this cup of coffee," she remarked.

I know that's what I think every time I down a cup o' java.

Rebecca Martin, 12.09pm via Twitter

Rebecca Martin, 12.07pm via Twitter

"I didn't go to sleep last night expecting this call." Lefkowitz live on the phone from the US. #Nobel

Rebecca Martin, 12.05pm via Twitter

Finally a question on the research... and half of the gathered press, including myself, look a bit lost again. #nobel

David Landes, 11.58am

They now have Lefkowitz on the phone at the press conference. It's 6am where he is in the US and this is what he said.

"I'm feeling very, very excited.

"I was fast asleep and the phone rang but I did not hear it. I must share with you that I wear ear plugs.

"My wife gave me an elbow and said 'phone for you'. And there it was. A total shock and surprise.

"I'm thinking it's going to be a very, very hectic day. I was going to get a haircut...but I'm afraid that will probably have to be postponed."

David Landes, 11.46am

The woman explaining the science involved with G-protein–coupled receptors compared them to a telephone operator switchboard.

David Landes, 11.46am

WINNERS ANNOUNCED: And the prize goes to:

Robert J. Lefkowitz, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA, and Brian K. Kobilka, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA “for studies of G-protein–coupled receptors”.


Oliver Gee, 11.42am

Speaking of chemistry humour...should I tell you a joke about sodium?


David Landes, 11.40am

Hah! Rebecca, you've got my sides splitting...just like an atom! Oh wait...I think that might be a physics joke. Darn. Best to leave the humour to the experts.

Rebecca Martin, 11.39am via Twitter

I want to apologize about the rubbish chemistry jokes I have been telling...but all the good ones Argon. :) #nobel

David Landes, 11.38am

Yikes! Only minutes away...I can feel the anticipation from here at TL HQ. According to the folks at Thomson Reuters Science Watch, quantum dots may take home the prize.

Rebecca Martin, 11.35am via Twitter

Again, just like yesterday, the announcement will be read by Prof Staffan Normark, permanent secretary of the RSAS.

Oliver Gee, 11.30am

15 minutes until the announcement... time for a fun fact:

2011's winner, Dan Shechtman, is the fourth Israeli to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry Prize in under a decade. He discovered the iconsahedral phase, which opened the new field of quasiperiodic crystals.

Oliver Gee, 11.00am

Two of our interns just took to the streets of Stockholm to ask people which of the Nobel prizes was their favourite... and why. Chemistry did not get a mention:

Click here to read Stockholmers' favourite Nobel prizes

Rebecca Martin, 10.50am via Twitter

On my way to see who gets this year's Nobel prize for chemistry. Any last minute bets or guesses? Is it difficult or...elementary? #Nobel

David Landes, 10.40am

With an hour or so to go before we know this year's Nobel Laureate in chemistry, a quick look at what the experts at the ChemBark chemistry blog have to say reveals that research in "Nuclear Hormone Signaling" has the best chance of winning, at 6-1 odds.

The question is...what exactly is nuclear hormone signaling?

Oliver Gee, 10.20am

While you're no doubt sitting with bated breath, waiting for the announcement, here is some trivia for you:

Frederick Sanger, a British biochemist, is the only one out of the 160 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2011 who has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry twice.

Oliver Gee, 10.01am

Wednesday marks the third Nobel Prize announcement for 2012 with the winners for Chemistry being announced later in the morning. Be sure to check in on Twitter with Rebecca Martin who will be at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and giving us the low down as it happens.

Tuesday, October 9th: Physics Prize

David Landes, 2.40pm

I realize the excitement of today's announcement may be starting to wear off, but for those of you out there who just can't get enough (and fancy yourselves scientifically oriented), check out this thrilling read provided by the Royal Academy as "scientific background" on this year's Nobel in physics:


Doesn't get much more exciting than that, eh?

Oliver Gee, 1.10pm

I am back in the office again and catching my breath after a whirlwind morning at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. That's enough tweeting from me, but we'll be updating this blog with a few more nuggets this afternoon, and then back in force again tomorrow for the Nobel Chemistry Prize.

David Landes, 1.03pm

Have updated our main article about the physics prize with a few additional nuggets from L'Huillier. Check it out here.

Rebecca Martin, 12.51pm

Maybe it will soon be clearer - just received word that The Local's Oliver Gee snagged a chat with Anne L'Huillier from the Nobel panel. Her answers on The Local soon!

David Landes, 12.31pm

I don't know about you, but I'm having a hard time getting my head around the research recognized with this year's Nobel in physics.

Of course, we're journalists, not scientists. At least we managed to spell the winners' names correctly. As Rebecca pointed out below, David Wineland's name gave some journalists a headache or two.

Indeed, his co-winner Serge Haroche also had his name misspelled a few Harrosche.

Oliver Gee, 12.25pm via Twitter

Rebecca Martin, 12.22pm

There seems to have been some confusion in the Swedish media as to how to spell Wineland's family name. Both Vineland and Weinland were spotted before everyone finally got it right.

Rebecca Martin, 12.21pm

Did you know that both Wineland and Haroche were born in 1944, although in different parts of the world?

Oliver Gee, 12.11am via Twitter

"Tried not to expect too much, and it was a wonderful surprise. There are many people who deserve this award." Haroche live from Paris.

Rebecca Martin, 12.10pm

When Swedish national broadcaster SVT managed to get French winner Haroche on the phone - unfortunately on a rather bad line - he said that he would phone his kids to tell them at once. And then he was going to celebrate with a glass of Champagne.

Oliver Gee, 11.54am via Twitter

Now we get the details about the two winners and their research. Deep insights into quantum physics. A lot of confused faces here right now.

Oliver Gee, 11.51am via Twitter

... For ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems.

Oliver Gee, 11.48am via Twitter

WINNERS ANNOUNCED:This year's prize goes to Serge Haroche and Prof David J Wineland

Oliver Gee, 11.41am via Twitter

Official announcement to say that the official announcement will occur on time.

David Landes, 11.38am

The 2012 Nobel prize winner in Physics will be announced by Professor Staffan Normark, Permanent Secretary at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (RSAS) and 7 minutes have been allotted for questions from the gathered press.

Rebecca Martin, 11.29am

Did you know that of the 191 individuals awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics since the start, only two are women; Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert-Mayer 1963. Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize twice, once in Physics and once in Chemistry 1911.

Oliver Gee, 11.20am via Twitter

Rebecca Martin, 11.17am

Also, John Bardeen is the only person who has received the Nobel Prize in Physics twice; once in 1956 and then again in 1972.

Rebecca Martin, 11.10am

Did you know the very first Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded in 1901, was awarded to Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen? On November 8th, 1895, he produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range today known as X-rays.

Oliver Gee, 11.06am via Twitter

Oliver Gee, 10.50am via Twitter

The average age of a #Nobel Physics prize winner is 54. That is, incidentally, the number of minutes until this year’s winner is announced.

Oliver Gee, 10.44am via Twitter

On my train to the the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for the #Nobel physics announcement. Any guesses for the winner?

Oliver Gee, 10.05pm

In the lead up to the Nobel Prizes, the list of winners is a closely guarded secret (even the winners don’t know in advance) - but that doesn’t mean you can’t speculate.

Many have pointed to the Higgs boson discovery as the surefire favourite to win the physics prize today – but with so many people involved in the discovery, and only a maximum of three winners allowed, which name(s) will be announced if this is the case?

I’ll be there at the announcement, be sure to follow me on Twitter for live tweets, pictures, and maybe an interview or two.

Rebecca Martin, 9.44am

Did you know that the average age for all the Physics Laureates between 1901 and 2011 - when awarded the prize - is 54?

In fact, the most frequent age bracket for Physics Laureates is 45-49 and only one has been under 30 years when getting the award. Lawrence Bragg, who was awarded the Nobel Prize with his father in 1915, was only 25 years old at the time.

David Landes, 9.07am

Good morning again and welcome to day 2 of The Local's Nobel Prize announcement week.

Today we're getting ready to learn who will receive the prize in physics. The announcement is set to be announced at 11.45am local times at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.

Interesting fact (courtesy of, the physics prize was the first one mentioned in Alfred Nobel's will.

Also, so far only two of the 191 Nobel Laureates in physics have been women.

Monday, October 8th: Medicine Prize

David Landes, 5.47pm

Well, that's a wrap for today. Feel free to scroll through the blog postings below to get a taste of what went down during day one of Nobel Prize announcement week.

And tune back in tomorrow (Tuesday) for more Nobel excitement with the announcement of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics, scheduled to take place around midday.

Rebecca Martin, 5.41pm

The choice of winners this year is certainly going to ruffle some feathers. The choice has already been called "controversial" due to the research still being in its early stages. However, according to the Karolinska Institute, there was a "lack of candidates" for the 2012 year's prize.

David Landes, 5.19pm

In Japan, Shinya Yamanaka, co-winner of the 2012 Nobel in medicine, held a press conference at his university in Kyoto, telling reporters he'd received a congratulatory call from Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda which made him a little nervous.

He also stressed that it would be some time before his discoveries would result in practical treatments for patients.

"For many illnesses, another five to ten years worth of research is needed," he said, according to Japanese TV channel NHK.

David Landes, 4.53pm

Newly named Nobel Laureate John Gurdon managed came late to the morning meeting at his lab on Monday...apparently a very unusual occurrence. Even though he'd just been told he won the 2012 Nobel Prize, he managed to keep the news a secret from his colleagues until the announcement was made official in Stockholm.

"They couldn't believe their ears," Tony Kouzarides of the Gurdon Institute told reporters of his colleauges' reaction, according to Sweden's TT news agency.

Oliver Gee, 2.53pm

Check out this quick video of The Local's David Landes interviewing Göran Hansson, Secretary General of the Nobel Committee at Karolinska Institutet, following Monday's announcement:

David Landes, 12.23pm via Twitter

#Nobel committee member Jonas Frisen told me 2012 medicine prize discovery is like finding the 'master keys' for cell biology.

David Landes, 12.20pm via Twitter

Just spoke to Nobel committee head Göran Hansson about 2012 medicine winners' reactions when he called to tell them the news.

Rebecca Martin, 12.05pm

Last year's Nobel laureates were awarded 10 million kronor ($1.5 million). This year's winners will get 8 million. In the summer, the Nobel Foundation announced that it would lower the prize money for the first time in over 60 years. The decrease was motivated by the financial crisis and the European recession.

Rebecca Martin, 11.58am

That may have been all from Karolinska but we'll continue to report on the background and the reactions to the award announcement here.

David Landes, 11.53am via Twitter

Well, that's a wrap from the first Nobel Prize announcement of 2012. Stay tuned to @TheLocalSweden for more #Nobel news this week

Rebecca Martin, 11.53am

More information on the winners

Oliver Gee, 11:45am

Göran K. Hansson, Secretary of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, who announced the winner and is taking questions, explained that he has spoken to the two winners and said they are equally happy and excited about coming to Stockholm.

Oliver Gee, 11:32am

WINNERS ANNOUNCED The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka for research into stem cells for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripoint.

David Landes, 11.23am via Twitter

Journalists have been kicked out of auditorium for a sound check...or maybe they've lost the paper with the winner(s)

Rebecca Martin, 11.20am

So far - only 10 women have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, last time was in 2009 when Elizabeth H. Blackburn was given the prize for her discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.

Find the full list of women laureates here.

David Landes, 11.14am via Twitter

Auditorium is filling up, but far from overflowing can feel the anticipation in the room...

Rebecca Martin, 11.10am

For a background on the last will and testament of Nobel, make sure to check out this.

Oliver Gee, 11:07am

Students take the opportunity to use the Nobel Prize as a platform to protest, holding up banners stating: “Research suffers when students are homeless” and “Student housing a national interest”.

Rebecca Martin, 11.04am

Did you know that the Nobel Foundation has decreed that a maximum of three people can share most prizes (although the Peace Prize can go to groups)? So, the question is will today's prize got to one scientist, to two, or to three?

David Landes, 10.55am via Twitter

Dagens Nyheter science writer ‏Karin Bojs predicts the Nobel Prize in medicine will be awarded for stem cell research.

David Landes, 10.21am

OK...leaving The Local headquarters and heading off to Karolinska. Be sure to keep checking back for updates and live tweets from today's upcoming announcement.

David Landes, 10.01am

In less than two hours, the first 2012 Nobel Prize winner (winners?) will be announced. First up in what will be a week filled with Nobel news will be the prize for Physiology or Medicine, awarded by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet.

Last year, three researchers were awarded the prize for discoveries related to the immune system.

This year, some experts are speculating that the prize will go to researchers in Japan for 2007 discoveries related to stem cells.

Interested in more background on the Nobel Prizes? Check out this past feature from The Local archives about how the man who invented dynamite became a champion for peace.


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