BLOG: Nobel Prize Ceremonies 2014

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BLOG: Nobel Prize Ceremonies 2014

The 2014 Nobel prizes have been handed out in Stockholm after the Peace Prize was awarded in Oslo earlier on Wednesday. The Local brought you analysis and reaction during one of the most prestigious events in the Swedish calendar.



  • Economics: Jean Tirole for understanding industry regulation
  • Peace: Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai for children's rights
  • Literature: French author Patrick Modiano
  • Chemistry: Eric Betzig, Stefan Hell and William Moerner for microscope work
  • Physics: Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura for inventing blue LED
  • Medicine: John O'Keefe, May-Britt and Edvard Moser for studying our "inner GPS"

December Prize ceremonies

Maddy Savage, Editor, 18:05

Police in Stockholm say that they have arrested a "naked man" outside the Stockholm Concert Hall where the Nobel Prize Ceremony has just taken place.

We're logging off now (the Nobel Museum is shut), but you can find more photos and videos on the Nobel Prize website.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 17:50

France's other winner, Jean Tirole has collected his Economics Prize, wrapping up the ceremony. Presenting the award, Professor Tore Ellingsen said: "He has shown how competition laws should reflect the peculiarities of each individual industry – from banking to telecommunications, search engines and social networking services".

The guests are now preparing for their banquet.

There is no time for lingering journalists, tourists and science fans here at the Nobel Museum. We've been told that the museum is "shutting as usual at six o'clock sharp".

Maddy Savage, Editor, 17:38

For royal watchers, the Nobel Prize ceremony always offers a feast of frocks. Princess Madeleine is wearing an enormous red ball gown for the event. Sweden's Prince Carl Philip has brought along his fiancee Sofia Hellqvist, who is making her Nobel debut wearing some serious purple sparkles. The pair are set to get married next year.


Photo: TT

Maddy Savage, Editor, 17:33

Among the spectators here at The Nobel Musuem are David and Lara Miller, from Brisbane in Australia. David, 35, who works in software development told The Local: "It's a wonderful day for people who love science for science. We just happened to be in Stockholm during a six month sabbatical travelling around Europe and our friends told us to stop by here. My grasp of Swedish isn't great but I am enjoying watching the ceremony".

Maddy Savage, Editor, 17:24

Frenchman Patrick Modiano is being recognized next. The writer is picking up the Nobel Literature Prize "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation". In other words, he's an incredibly accomplished author. Read The Local's top ten facts about him.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 17:14

Winners John O'Keefe, May-Britt and Edvard Moser are picking up their Medicine or Physiology awards now for studying our "inner GPS".

"Through brilliant experiments, you have given us new insight into one of the greatest mysteries of life: how the brain creates behaviour and provides us with fascinating mental proficiencies," said Nobel Committee spokesperson Ole Kiehn at the ceremony.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 17:05

There are plenty of musical interludes during the award ceremony. We're being treated to some opera now. 

Maddy Savage, Editor, 17:02

Chemistry came next - Eric Betzig, Stefan Hell and William Moerner have just been praised for their for microscope work and given their medals by the King, following a trumpet fanfare.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 17:00

The three Japanese physics laureates have been mentioned first at the ceremony. Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura invented blue LED.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 16:55

The wind is howling outside the Nobel Museum in Stockholm where The Local is watching the prize ceremony from, alongside tourists from every continent and international news crews. It's been raining all day and snow is forecast for tonight but that doesn't seem to have dampened the atmosphere here or at the Stockholm Concert Hall where the awards are being given out.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 16:45

New to the Nobels? They take place every year on December 10th, which is the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death. He was a Swedish chemist who left money in his will to set up the prizes back in 1895.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 16:40

French economics winner Jean Tirole is on the big screen at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm right now. He looks very French and dapper in his sharp suit and bow tie. Warm winter coats and walking boots are all the rage here.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 16:34

Members of Sweden's royal family have arrived at Stockholm Concert Hall where the Nobel Prizes are being awarded. King Carl XVI Gustav will be handing out the prizes. After the ceremony the winners will be given a banquet at Stockholm City Hall. The menu is a secret for now. Meatballs are unlikely. There will be 1250 guests for the feast, which will be followed by dancing.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 16:28

The ceremony has started a couple of minutes early - how Swedish.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 16:23

Not long now! Crowds of tourists are starting to gather at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm which is showing the ceremony on a big screen. The event is taking place a short walk away from here at Stockholm Concert Hall.

Patrick Reilly, Reporter, 16:15 

Not long to go now as the movers and shakers arrive at the award ceremony in Stockholm. Our Editor Maddy Savage is heading to the Nobel Museum in Stockholm where there is a big screen showing the event. You can also watch the whole occasion live on the official YouTube channel

Maddy Savage, Editor, 15:15
Missed Malala's speech? You can watch highlights and read more reaction on The Nobel Prize Twitter feed.
Maddy Savage, Editor, 15:10
Pub quiz fan? Here are a few facts about the Nobel Peace Prize:
- 95 prizes have been handed out since 1901
- Sixteen women have been given the award, including Malala
- Malala is the youngest ever laureate - the average age is 62.
- Three laureates were under arrest at the time they were given their awards: Carl von Ossietzky, Aung San Suu Kyi and Liu Xiaobo
Maddy Savage, Editor, 15:03
Police in Norway have confirmed the arrest of a man who brandished a Mexican flag in front of Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai and India's Kailash Satyarthi as the Nobel laureates received their prize to rapturous applause earlier. He was dressed in a grey jacket and black trousers with a camera hanging around his neck. Officers led him outside Oslo City Hall, where the ceremony was being held. "The person has been arrested. The place is under control and police are looking into the events," the Oslo police said in a statement reported by the AFP news agency. The man's motives and identity remain unclear. Read more on The Local Norway.
Maddy Savage, Editor, 14:58

The Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is over. Photos have emerged of a protester running on to the stage as children's rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai, 17 picked up her award. A young man waving a Mexican flag was quickly interrupted by security. Reports suggest he has now been arrested.

Photo: TT
Ben McPartland, France Editor, 14:48
Two Frenchmen are preparing to pick up prizes in Stockholm - writer Patrick Modiano and economist Jean Tirole. But their big day has been overshadowed in the French media by a released hostage, a controversial law on Sunday shop openings and National Front leader Marine Le Pen making some controversial comments about torture.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 14:41

The education campaigner criticized rich countries for allowing children to get guns but failing to give them enough school books. She said that too many nations viewed universal education as "too expensive or too hard", adding "it is time the world thinks bigger".

Maddy Savage, Editor, 14:40

Malala is looking confident as she gives her acceptance speech in Oslo. We're watching the live feed. You can too by clicking here.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 14:34

Malala Yousafzai has just picked up her Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. She is the youngest ever Nobel laureate after being nominated for the award aged just seventeen. She shares the prize with Indian child rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi. The Nobel committee described both laureates as "champions of peace".

"A young girl and a somewhat older man, one from Pakistan and one from India, one Muslim, the other Hindu; both symbols of what the world needs: more unity. Fraternity between the nations!" Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel committee, said at the ceremony.

Photo: TT

Maddy Savage, Editor, 14:21

It's a big day for thirteen new names on the Nobel circuit. Click here for a reminder of the leading writers, campaigners and scientists preparing to pick up their awards in Oslo and Stockholm in the next few hours.


October Prize announcements

MONDAY: Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 15:44

Well that wraps a fantastic eight days of Nobel Prizes. You can click on the links above to read our in-depth stories about each prize winner, but I'll leave you with a bit of trivia and some of the highlights. Of course, if you're comfortable and don't have any plans for the next hour or so, you can read back through this entire live blog from the whole week. 
For the rest of you though - we put together a handy summary in the form of a few awards of our own.
Most Audience-Friendly Win: The Nobel Prizes got a little bit cooler when 17-year-old Malala Yousafzay became the youngest ever Peace Laureate. It's a safe bet that young Malala was the first winner that many news readers (and news writers) had heard of before. And she is an awesome inspiration for teenagers around the world.

Excellence in Geography: We tip our hats to the Committee for selecting a set of winners from a very broad range of countries in 2014. These included Norway, the US, Japan, France, Pakistan, India, the UK. Plus a Romanian-born German picked up a prize.

Worst Example of Gender Equality: But we weren't impressed by the not-very-noble fact that there were only two female winners out of a total of 13 laureates. 

Most Helpful Simile: The Nobel Committee in Chemistry did a good job in helping us all understand the laureates' work with microscope and molecules. They compared it to looking at a city of buildings but not being able to see the people inside them. The laureates' work allowed us to see these "people" inside. Still don't get it? Read more.
Best Laureate name: Professor Hell, who took home the prize in Physics
Most confusing win: Patrick Modiano for Literature. Let's be honest, you've never heard of him. Neither had the world (outside of France, anyway). Before the announcement, his most famous book "Missing Person" was ranked 76,199th on the Amazon best-seller list. By the end of the day it was ranked third. 
Worst Press Conference: The Physics Prize. Despite a room full of scientists, and despite the fact that Skype was invented in Sweden, the phone call to Japanese Laureate Shuji Nakamura was of such poor quality that the journalists put down their pens and started giggling. The only word I could understand from the professor was "unbelievable". It will remain a mystery if he was referring to the honour of winning or the quality of the live connection. 
And with that, we're putting the lid on this live blog. Thanks for reading. We'll be back with more Nobel trivia come December, when the awards get handed out.
Ben McPartland, France Editor, 15:10
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Monday hailed the country's second win of Nobel season as a slap in the face for those who take pleasure in criticizing the embattled nation.
"After Patrick Modiano, another Frenchman reaches the top: congratulations to Jean Tirole," Valls wrote on Twitter after the Nobel economics prize was announced, adding it "really thumbed the nose at French bashing".

Maddy Savage, Editor, 14:53

You can find out more about why the Nobel Committee selected Jean Tirole and why the panel thinks his work could be relevant to Sweden's growing start-up scene by reading The Local's full summary of today's announcement.

That's it from me. I'm heading back to The Local's HQ in Stockholm. Our coverage of this year's Nobel Prize winners is almost complete. But I have a feeling Oliver Gee is waiting in the wings with some final top trivia to impress your friends or partner with tonight.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 14:29

Finally got my interview with a Nobel Committee member. Tomas Sjöström, who is Professor of Economics at Rutgers University in the USA accepted my challenge to explain Jean Tirole's win in less than 60 seconds. So how did he get on? Have a listen to this:

Ben McPartland, France Editor, 14:04

Tirole can expect a message of congratulations from President Hollande himself, and given the dire state of the economy, perhaps he shouldn't be surprised if the head of state offers a him a new job as well.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 13:58

Wondering how Jean Tirole's theories apply to Stockholm and Skåne's booming start up scenes. Hoping to ask a Nobel Committee member when I get my interview slot in the next few minutes. Any other questions?

Maddy Savage, Editor, 13:47

Still waiting for my interview with a Nobel Committee member, so in the meantime, I am checking the headlines in Tirole's home country France.

His win is the top story for most online national newspapers including The Local France.

Our France Editor Ben McPartland says:

"First literature and now Economics, France has certainly enjoyed this year's Nobel Prize awards. No doubt a few will note the irony of a French economist scooping top prize at a time when the country's economy is in the doldrums, but the fact there is a Gallic winner after 18 out of the last 20 went to US Economists will certainly be welcomed by the French today". 

Missed our top five facts about Literature winner Modiano? Impress your friends by clicking here.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 13:38

The room here at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is starting to empty out. I'm going to miss being surrounded by chandeliers and gold framed oil paintings. Before I head back to The Local HQ, I should be getting an interview with one of the Nobel Committee. Once again I'll be testing them with my 60 second challenge. Can they explain why Tirole was selected and why his win is important in less than a minute?

The room where most of the nobel prize winners are announced

Maddy Savage, Editor, 13:26

Tirole is off the phone and the press conference has ended. Staffan Normark, Permanent Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences says that the Nobel Committee it is looking forward to seeing journalists when the prizes are handed out in Stockholm and Oslo later this year. But only a few select media outlets usually get tickets for these events.
Maddy Savage, Editor, 13:21
Tirole has now been asked about the EU's plans for a banking union in the Eurozone and has described this as "a superb idea". Definitely not standing on the fence with that answer.
Maddy Savage, Editor, 13:16
A journalist from China has asked him how the banking industry should be regulated following the current economic crisis. Tirole said it was "very important to think about regulation", but he argued it should not be so tight that entrepreneurship is limited.
Maddy Savage, Editor, 13:18
Jean Tirole is on the phone from Toulouse and we are listening in.  He says he is "very honoured" to have picked up the prize. Staffan Normark, Permanent Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences greeted him with a "bonjour". Now he is answering questions from journalists.
Maddy Savage, Editor, 13:12
So in simple language, what exactly has Jean Tirole achieved? His research focuses on how to understand and regulate industries. He taught economists that not all industries should be treated the same. For example, he argued that the telecoms industry and the banking industries should not be dealt with in the same way, that some industries benefit from price caps and that others don't and that some firms should merge but others should operate separately to increase competition. Previously, many economists had sought to apply the same theories to multiple industries.
The Nobel Committee says that thanks to his insights, "governments can better encourage powerful firms to become more productive and, at the same time, prevent them from harming competitors and customers.
Maddy Savage, Editor, 13:11
Jean Tirole wasn't widely predicted to win the prize. In fact, few of those touted to take home awards in 2014 have ended up doing so. He's 61 by the way.
Maddy Savage, Editor, 13:07
Jean Tirole is "one of the most influential economists of our time" according to the Nobel Committee.
Maddy Savage, Editor, 13:01
We have a winner. Jean Tirole from the Toulouse School of Economics and he's the second French winner in 2014. He's been praised by the panel for his "analysis of market power and regulation"
The announcement was made by Staffan Normark, Permanent Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Maddy Savage, Editor, 12:59
Just seconds to go now. In theory.
Maddy Savage, Editor, 12:51
We've been told that the announcement should be on time. So expect an update in around nine minutes. 
Maddy Savage, Editor, 12:40
There are fewer journalists here compared to last week and there's a friendly atmosphere in the room. I wonder if camera crews got told off for taking up space meant for text journalists. At some of the earlier Nobel Prize announcements many of us had to sit with our laptops on our knees because video journalists blocked the tables. We are getting plenty more room today.
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 12:37
Maddy is on the scene, I'm handing over the blog to her now. Looks like she's got a great seat:
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 12:33
While Maddy makes her way to the scene, let's take a trip down memory lane and see who won in 2013. 
It was three economists from the United States who took home the prize for their research in predicting asset price movements.
"The laureates have laid the foundation for the current understanding of asset prices," the Royal Academy said in a statement at the time. 
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 12:05
Here's some interesting trivia for you.
Mentioned below was Peter Englund, the former Secretary of the Economic Sciences Prize Committee.
But do you remember the name of the Nobel Committee's Permanent Secretary for Literature?
Yes, another Peter Englund. What are the chances?
More exciting trivia: 
Maddy Savage, Editor, 11.10

A clue that the winner could be a woman this year?

Peter Englund, former Secretary of the Economic Sciences Prize Committee has answered 17 frequently asked questions about the award on the Nobel Prize website and says that he foresees a rise in the number of women picking up the prize: " We see many more young women at the frontier of different fields of economics today than, say, twenty years ago. As an example, several of the recent Bates Clark medals given to the best U.S. economist under the age of forty have been given to women".

Maddy Savage, Editor, 10:43

Tension is mounting ahead of the Economic Sciences prize announcement. Did you know that only one woman has been awarded it so far? It was Elinor Ostrom, in 2009. She was praised for demonstrating "how local property can be successfully managed by local commons without any regulation by central authorities or privatization". She's actually a trained political scientist rather than an economist, but the field is broad for this prize.
Among those tipped to take the award this year are William Baumol and Israel Kirzner from New York University, who are leading researchers on entrepreneurship.
According to the Wall Street Journal, income inequality has been a hot topic this year and it mentions British-based Sir Tony Atkinson from Oxford University and Angus Deaton of Princeton as experts in this area who could pick up the award.
Maddy Savage, Editor, 08:00

Good morning from Stockholm, where there are just five hours to go until the final Nobel Prize of 2014 is announced, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

Unlike the other prizes, this one wasn't requested in Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel's will. It was launched by Sweden's Riksbank (central bank) in the 1960s, but it follows the same principle as the other prizes, with winners deemed to have produced research or made discoveries that have benefited mankind.

This prize has been awarded 45 times to 74 Laureates between 1969 and 2013. 

FRIDAY: Nobel Peace Prize

Maddy Savage, Editor, 14:26
There is one more prize to go - economics. We'll blog live from the announcement in Stockholm on Monday.
Have a great weekend and don't forget to check out our other articles on The Local Sweden and The Local Norway sites in the meantime!
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 11:35
Well, that wraps up another Nobel. Here is the full write up from our sister site in Norway. 
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 11:15
Malala is no stranger to Norway. In October last year she appeared on Skavlan, the country's biggest talk show. 
She chatted to the Norwegian chat show host about her life, and made headlines when talking about how her father won't let her have a boyfriend.
Yousafzai came to the world's attention after she was shot in the head in an attempted assassination organised by the Taliban in retaliation for her campaign for women to be educated in Taliban influenced areas of Pakistan. 
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 11:09
Satyarthi, 60, is an Indian children's rights activist who has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations. He is said to have freed over 80,000 children from servitude. 
The Committee says that "it regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism". 
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 11:05
In their motivation, the Nobel committee pointed out that 60 percent of the population in the world's poorest countries is under 25 years of age and that it is a "pre-requisite for peaceful global development" that their rights are respected. 
"In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation."
At just 17 years old, she is the youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate.
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 11:00
AND THE WINNERS ARE: Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education".
Mark Johnstone, Norway Editor, 10:54
Here's a snippet from the Aftenposten newspaper columnist Steffen Pedersen Øberg.
"If Japan wins the prize, there will be chaos. We already have a big debate about a change of the national constitution. The prize will be a slap in the face of Prime Minister Shinto Abe, Japanese journalists say to NTB. A lot of Japanese journalists have met up at the Nobel Institute ahead of this year's Peace Prize Award."
Mark Johnstone, Norway Editor, 10:45
Did you know?
In the history of the Prize, the Nobel committee have abstained 20 times from electing a winner. Could it happen in 2014?

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 10:34

Things are hotting up with under half an hour to go. The biggest online paper in Norway, VG, has a live stream which is just showing an empty podium right now. If you're keen to watch the announcement live, click play on the YouTube video above. 

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 10:08

Under an hour until the prize is announced now. Here comes some trivia:

Meanwhile, meet the Nobel Committee, the fickle five who are choosing today's winner. 

Mark Johnstone, Norway Editor, 09:57

Swedish bookies Bettson latest odds: Pope Francis as clear favourite to win Prize (2-1), Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta (5-1), Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai (8-1), Denis Mukwege (10-1) and Edward Snowden (10-1).
Mark Johnstone, Norway Editor, 09:50
To whet your appetite for the announcement in just over two hours at the Oslo Peace Institute, here are the Prize's winners over the past five years:
2013: The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
2012: The European Union (EU)
2011: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman - three women campaigning for women's rights
2010: Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese human rights activist
2009: US President Barack Obama

Obama was a surprise candidate for the win. Photo: TT
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 09:38

Just getting word in from Mark in Norway that many people are tipping a Russian winner for the Peace Prize this morning. 

"The conflict in Ukraine and President Putin’s iron grip on his own country has resulted in speculation the prize this year will go to Russian peace and human rights activists," he writes. 

Photo: TT

Mark Johnstone, Norway Editor, 09:20

Every year Norway's Prime Minister gives a speech right after the Nobel Peace Prize winner is announced. But there has been criticism that the custom should be scrapped. Some critics argue that it has made it difficult for people to see the prize as independent from the Norwegian government. You can read more about the row on The Local Norway's site.
Maddy Savage, Sweden Editor, 9:12
Want a one-click summary of the Nobel Peace Prize race? Check out our article about some of the most talked about nominees.
Maddy Savage, Sweden Editor, 09:00
Meanwhile, the world is still reacting to Thursday's Nobel Literature Prize announcement. It turns out the winning laureate - Frenchman Patrick Modiano - has a Swedish grandson whom he dedicated the award to. The winner described getting the prize as "a bit unreal" and said that he felt the experience was happening to someone else. He originally couldn't be reached by the Nobel committee and said he found out when he got a phone call from his daughter.
Maddy Savage, Sweden Editor, 08:20
Like the other prizes revealed this week, this award is the legacy of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel. It was his idea for the Nobel Peace Prize to be handed out in Norway rather than Sweden, which was ruled in union with Sweden at the time of Nobel's death.The Norwegian Nobel Committee speculates that Nobel may have considered Norway better suited to awarding the prize, as it did not have the same militaristic traditions as Sweden
Mark Johnstone, Norway Editor, 08:14
Good morning from Oslo, where Norwegians are eagerly awaiting the announcement of this year's coveted Nobel Peace Prize, which will be made at 11am.
The favourites to scoop the 95th award to date are:

Pope Francis, who would become the first Roman Catholic pontiff to win the peace prize.

US whistleblower Edward Snowden, which wouldn't go down well with 2009 winner Barack Obama.
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived a bullet in the head from the Taliban and has become a symbol of courage and peace worldwide.

But with 278 candidates this year - more than any other time in the past - it's anyone's guess who will be judged by the Nobel Academy to have "done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations", which was Alfred Nobel's vision for the prize in 1901.
THURSDAY: Nobel Prize for Literature
Maddy Savage, Editor, 14:59
Our ten things you need to know about Patrick Modiano list is out and brings this blog to a nice conclusion.
If you've just logged on, sorry you missed out on an afternoon of hot literary action. You can catch up by reading our full story on the literature prize winner here.
Speak to you again tomorrow.
Maddy Savage, Editor, 14:29
Thanks for joining us again for what is definitely our favourite Nobel Prize announcement (well we are writers, after all).
Will you be rushing out to buy any of Patrick Modiano's work? Let us know @TheLocalSweden.
Oliver is on his way back to The Local's HQ in Södermalm, Stockholm now, and here is our article on the five key things you need to know about Patrick Modiano.
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 14:19
I quizzed the Nobel panel's Permanent Secretary Peter Eglund about why the odds had drastically improved for Modiano on Wednesday.
"Yesterday? Where? Well, I have no comments about that. That's a somewhat overrated question - I can't answer it," he responded. 
"We have no indications of a leak. We have lots of names that have gone from 50-1 to 10-1 over the years. You can take that as a proof that there's no leak as they haven't won. It's been a great number of years since the odds predicted a winner."
As to the author himself, I asked Englund if he could sell me his work.
"Well, probably not to you," he responded. Not sure what he meant by that, but he carried on.
"Try Missing Persons, he's fond of playing with the detective genre. That is a classic of the film noir setting, playing with the detective novel cliches. It's about a detective on his last case - finding out who he really is," he explained, adding that he read the book in Swedish, French and English. 
Englund seemed surprised to hear of the change in betting odds. Photo: Oliver Gee
But it turns out that's not Englund's key Modiano recommendation.
"I'd like to recommend a pair of books. One is called Honeymoon and the other is Dora Bruder. He's working with the same source material - a small advert in a 1942 French newspaper. The first is a novel about a runaway girl, then a number of books later, Modiano returns to the case and finds out the real story," Englund said. 
"These two books in themselves are very good, but when you put them together, it's one of those unique moments when they talk to each other, they correspond with each other. I think it's very elegant."
Maddy Savage, Editor, 14:03
The announcement of Patrick Modiano is making huge waves in his home country, France. You can read The Local France's write-up here.
Ben McPartland, our Editor in France, says "Modiano's win has wiped all news of the gloomy economy off the top of French news sites. Although he many have had little published in English and may be a relative unknown in much of the world, he is a firm favourite in France".
In a 2012 interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Modiano compared writing to driving in fog: "You don't know where you're going, you just know you have to go on."
Ben has also uncovered this brilliant description of Modiano from a France Today journalist:
"You’ll never stumble upon him at one of those literary cocktail parties Parisian editors adore, nor will you spy his rangy figure on popular talk shows. Modiano’s interviews are few, but his words are priceless."
Mimmi Nilsson, Intern, 13:58
Every year for the last quarter of a decade, students from a school in Rinkeby, in the Stockholm suburbs, have paid a visit to the Nobel Prize announcements for Literature. 
Rinkeby is a school of great diverstity, the school's project manager Lotta Silfverheilm said to The Local.
"Some of our students usually have a connection to the award winner's homeland," she explained.
One of the students, Bengu Erdal, said he had found the afternoon to be "very nerve-wracking".
Paul O'Mahony, Senior Editor, 13:33
It is worth noting that punters raced to place bets on French novelist Patrick Modiano in the days before the announcement. 

Betting firm Ladbrokes said that Modiano had stormed to sixth place on Wednesday, with his odds dropping from 50/1 to 10/1 in the space of a week.

This will fuel rumours that his win was leaked and that is something that journalists will certainly be talking about in Stockholm today.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 13:25
Here's a photo of Patrick Modiano, who will be 70 next year.

Photo: TT
Plus you can find out more about this year's other winners in Medicine or Physiology, Physics and Chemistry.
Maddy Savage, Editor, 13:14
The winning author is a household name in France and has written novels, screenplays and children's books.
His main themes are identity, memory and loss, with most of his books less than 150 pages long.
Modiano previously won the prestigious Prix Goncourt prize for writers in 1978.
He has yet to react to the announcement, with members of the Nobel Committee revealing to journalists in Stockholm that they had been unable to reach him.
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 13:09
Some officials have just laid out a table of Modiano's work. How many have you read?
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 13:05

A Swedish woman just came up to me as I was typing and said "Who is he?" She looked over my shoulder and read the winner's name. "I've never heard of him".

Well, that's the way this works, isn't it? Sometimes we know exactly who we're dealing with, sometimes we have no idea. I guess that's the beauty of it all. 
Want to read more about the winner and the prize? Read our full story here.
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 13:00
AND THE WINNER IS: French Author Patrick Modiano for "the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation".
The room was particularly silent. Confusion? Who knows. After Peter Englund finished the announcement, there was a healthy applause. 
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 12.55

Well, the winner should already know they've won. They will have been called at 12:30: Just five minutes until we know. Hello, the room appears to have gone quiet already... 
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 12.45
On the scene now and it's packed. Journalists swarming and members of the public trickling in too.
While walking to Gamla Stan, we stopped a few more people to ask them their favourite authors. 
First, Patrik said that he's never found better than Hunter S Thompson - particularly Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 
"I love the whole idea of chasing the American Dream," he explains. "I'm fascinated by the concept of chasing something that you can't find."
We also bumped into Lithuanian Justinas, who's visiting Stockholm on a business trip.
"For me, you can't go past Romain Gary," he says. "I like both his literary style and the stories themselves. Also, he's originally from Vilnius like me - but he escaped during the war for a new life in Germany and then France." 
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 12.01
Our intern Mimmi has just come back from talking to Stockholmers and has concluded that most of them just aren't that into Nobel Literature. 
Check out Kaj Dorch, below, for example.
"I haven’t read a book in 40 years," he said. "Once I start I can’t stop and I don't even dare to start again – I'd rather sleep," he confessed with a smile. 

Kay Dorch. Photo: Mimmi Nilsson
Iman Conta, however, enjoys the odd book and says her favourite author is Swedish spy fiction novellist Jan Guillou.
"I'd love to have picked someone else," she admits. "Perhaps another Swedish author that isn’t so predictable."
Iman Conta. Photo: Mimmi Nilsson
While Guillou isn't tipped to win, he wouldn't be the first Swede to take home the prize. 
In fact, seven authors who've written in Swedish have won, making the Swedish language the fifth most popular for Laureates after English (27 laureates), French (13), German (13), and Spanish (11).
Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 11:07
Here is an interview with Peter Englund, the Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy. He is basically the face of the Nobel Literature jury. 
If you don't have the time to read it, here are the most interesting points.
- There are around 200 nominations, which are whittled down to a shortlist of five. 
- The Academy has 18 members including writers, poets, and literary scholars. They spend the whole summer reading up on the entire works of the five shortlisted authors, before voting in a winner. 
- There is a great deal of secrecy behind the process, the details of which aren't released for 50 years. 
- The winner just needs a majority of votes, it doesn't need to be unanimous. 
- The laureate is notified 30 minutes before the announcement. 

Peter Englund, the man behind the prize. Photo: TT

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 10:32

Time for a bit of trivia:

Also - the youngest ever laureate was Rudyard Kipling, author of The Jungle Book, who won the Nobel when he was just 42. 

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 10:18

Morning readers, Oliver here. I'll be taking you through today's announcement live from the scene, together with our intrepid intern Mimmi Nilsson. She's out on the streets of Stockholm now asking Swedes about their favourite authors. 

Last year we saw Alice Munro take the prize, the first Canadian-born writer to win since 1976. She joins a long list of well-known laureates including Winston Churchill, John Steinbeck, Albert Camus, Ernest Hemingway and TS Eliot. 

But who are we kidding - the Nobel Prize for Literature is just as likely to go to a Mongolian haiku poet as it is to someone you've actually heard of. That's what makes it so fun.

Follow Mimmi and myself on Twitter here - the announcement is at 13:00 in Stockholm's Gamla Stan. 

Nobel Laureate Alice Munro. Photo: TT

Maddy Savage, Editor, 8:51

There is one Nobel Prize that isn't handed out in Stockholm: The Nobel Peace Prize. It will be revealed in Oslo on Friday, but we'll still be covering the announcement on this live blog.

US whistleblower Edward Snowden and Pakistani education campaigner Malala Yousafzai are among the names being suggested. You can read much more on The Local Norway's website

Meanwhile we're mugging up on all the books we should have been reading this year ahead of today's Literature prize announcement in Stockholm.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 08:24

Hello from Stockholm where literature is the next prize set to be announced by the Nobel Committee here in Sweden. This is one of the most talked-about prizes, mostly because more journalists and commentators read novels than physics or chemistry papers!

Last year there was huge speculation that Belarusian writer Svetlana Aleksijevitj would win, but instead the prize went to Canadian short story writer Alice Munro

Betting firms say Kenyan novelist and poet Ngugi wa Thiong'o is the favourite this year. Who is your money on? Tweet us @TheLocalSweden

The announcement will be made at 13:00 local time

WEDNESDAY: Nobel Prize for Chemistry

Maddy Savage, Editor, 13:27

Journalists have been told to leave the conference room at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, so it is time to wrap up today's chemistry prize blog. I hope we ironed out some of the issues for you and you found some golden elements in our work today. We'll bring you the latest information and analysis on the Literature prize announcement on Thursday.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 13:14

I just challenged chemistry Professor Lars Gustavsson, who is on the Nobel Prize committee, to explain who won this year's prize and why in just 60 seconds. Did he succeed? You can listen below. And why not check out Professor Juleen Zierath's test from Monday. She did a great job after the Medicine or Physiology prize was announced, without referring to any notes.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 12:39

Journalists are now busy holding individual interviews with members of the Nobel panel. I can hear reporters in English, Swedish and German all asking the same thing: "can you explain in simple language what this means". Check out Oliver Gee's great summary below. My interview slot is coming up shortly. Tweet me if you have any questions you want asked.

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 12:25

Here's a summary of what this all means:
Until recently, scientists were convinced they couldn't improve on a microscope's resolution of 0.2 micrometres. This was due to many factors including the wavelength of light.  
But the scientists awarded today developed the tools to allow experts to see tiny little things like molecules - which are less than half the wavelength of light - interacting within a cell.
The Nobel panel in Stockholm said it was as if experts had previously only been able to see buildings of a city and not the people within those buildings or how they interacted. The work of the winners changed this.
Rather than making things clearer by increasing magnification, the laureates discovered different ways of use the fluorescence of molecules to make them more visible to scientists.
Now, scientists are able to track these molecules and learn more about them. Hopefully in the process we will learn more about how diseases develop.
Maddy Savage, Editor, 12:21

Don't forget to read The Local's full story on this year's chemistry prize.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 12:15

The press conference has concluded. But journalists will be back inside this grand building for the Nobel Prize for Economics announcement which will be made on Monday.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 12:14

Professor Hell has told journalists he was "totally surprised" to win the prize. You can hear the excitement in his voice now.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 12:12

Professor Hell works at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany and the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg.

He has been asked about comments he made a few years ago that he was "on the verge of giving up" his research but he says he realised "by playing with the molecules" that he needed to continue with his job. Good job he did!

Maddy Savage, Editor, 12:10

Professor Stefan W. Hell is on the phone from Germany and is speaking to journalists via a speaker link. He is using complex language and speaking at a rapid rate! But he has pointed out that his work has helped improve our understanding of physiology and disease. Due to their achievements, "the optical microscope can now peer into the nano world," according to the press release that has just been handed out to journalists here.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 12:06

Nobel panel member Måns Ehrenberg is still making a presentation on the winners. It is one of the more complex lectures that journalists have been given this week. In summary, Betzig, Hell and Moener will share the prize "for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy".

Scientists can study living cells in the tiniest molecular detail thanks to their work using laser beams to improve the possibilities of microscopes.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 12:05

Here is how the Nobel Prize team have explained the researchers' achievements on Twitter:

Maddy Savage, Editor, 11:57

The prize is essentially "about seeing" according to Måns Ehrenberg on the panel. He says that the researchers have extended the realm of what we can see through light microscopy. In other words, viruses, proteins and small molecules can be seen in much more detail thanks to the work of the winning scientists.

Maddy Savage, Editor 11:54

According to the panel, the scientists have produced "ground-breaking work" which has been useful to researchers looking at DNA, Parkinson's Alzheimers and Huntingdon's diseases.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 11:52

Dr Eric Betzig, Professor Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner have won the Chemistry award this year for their work on optical microscopy. Betzig and Moerner work in the USA, while Hell is based in Heidelberg in Germany.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 11:45

There has been a bit of a delay...

Maddy Savage, Editor, 11:30

The announcement will be made shortly by Professor Steffan Normark, who is the Permanent Secretary at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Nobel Prize has been awarded to 165 people so far. The camera crews here have already turned their lights on and the chandeliers on the ceiling here are glistening brightly.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 11:26

The room at The Royal Swedish Academy of Science is buzzing, although some journalists are not happy that camera crews have positioned themselves so close to some of the tables that reporters can't get a seat and are having to put their computers on their laps instead. I am one of them!

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 11:13

Maddy has just arrived, tweeting a lovely picture of the improving weather. She seems to be in her element, I'll hand over the live blog to her now.

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 10.57

Our Editor Maddy Savage will be guiding you through today's announcement and she is on the way to the academy now. Give her a follow on Twitter. You can follow me too, I will be tweeting about the Chemistry Prize periodically...

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 10.39

It's time for your favourite segment - Nobel trivia.

Question: What's 58 years old, 97.6 percent likely to be a man, and has 8 million kronor ($1.1 million) in their pocket? 

Answer: The average Nobel Chemistry Prize winner. 

There have been only four women who've snagged the Nobel nod since 1901. One was Marie Curie, who had won the Physics Nobel a few years earlier. The youngest ever laureate was just 35 years old, and one man - Frederick Sanger - won it twice. 

An undated photo of Marie Curie and her husband Pierre. Both Nobel winners. Photo: TT

Maddy Savage, Editor, 10:08

There has been a lot of chatter about who might win the Chemistry prize this year and it could have something to do with the smartphone or tablet you may be reading this live blog on right now.

Professors Ching W. Tang and Steven Van Slyke, who both work in the US, invented an organic light emitting diode, which is crucial in high definition TVs and the latest mobiles and computers. They have been tipped by the annual Thomson Reuters Citation Laureates study, which mines scientific research citations to identify the most influential researchers in the fields of chemistry, physics, medicine and economics.

The study has accurately forecast 35 Nobel Prize winners since 2002, but it didn't correctly predict this year's winners in Medicine or Physiology and Physics.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 8:27

Good morning from a very wet Stockholm!

We're gearing up for the Chemistry announcement which will be revealed at 11:45. Alfred Nobel was a chemist himself, so this is one of the week's key prizes.

TUESDAY: Nobel Prize for Physics

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 12:49

OK, that's enough Nobel for today. Check in tomorrow morning for our live coverage of the Chemistry announcement. 

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 12:47

Björn Jonson of the jury just explained the win was exciting because it was an invention that won, rather than research or a discovery. 
He told me that an LED light lasts for around 100,000 hours, compared to the old-fashioned light bulb works which work for 100 hours. 
"Did you know 25 percent of all energy consumption on earth is from these kind of lights," he said, pointing to a typical light bulb in a chandelier above us. 
"If you cut that by a factor of 20, then you're getting a lot of energy," he told The Local. 
"Also, what I find most important, there are 1.5 billion people in Africa who have no access to electricity grids. In the evening, they're in the dark. Now all they need is a small solar cell, a battery and LED lamps. They can sit there and read, or study. It's amazing."
Maddy Savage, Editor, 12:19

So if you own an LED light, it is thanks to the winners of this year's Nobel Prize for Physics.

You can read The Local's full story on the announcement here.

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 11:57

As it was so hard to hear Nakamura on the phone, I decided to ask Staffan Normark for his side of events. 
"How did the laureates react to hearing they'd won?" The Local asked. 
"I reached two of the laureates, Akasaki and Nakamura," he responded, adding that Amano was on a plane at the time.

"They are thrilled to get the prize, I don't think they were prepared for it. It's not like they had been waiting for it. It's a fantastic experience for us to be the first to tell them, to wake them up and to congratulate them. It's a great honour," he said.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 12:06

Some clever tweets coming from @NobelPrize today


Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 11:57

The jury is on the phone now with Laureate Nakamura. He's about to answer journalists' questions. He is extremely hard to hear due to a particularly bad connection. You'd think all these scientists could have created a better communication feed. Personally, I didn't understand much, but I think he said it was "unbelievable" to hear he'd won the award. 

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 11:52

OK, let's break down this win today. The three professors invented a whole new light source  - a blue LED - which allowed the development of environmentally friendly white light sources. The Nobel Prize is awarded for the invention that gives the greatest benefit to mankind, so the jury decided that this invention will be extremely relevant to us all. 

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 11:48

While we're all getting our head around these lights, it's worth noting that all three laureates were born in Japan. One is an American citizen and is a Professor in California. 

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 11.45

And the winners are Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright light and energy-saving white light source. The awards were presented by Staffan Normark, the Permanent Secretary at The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Now the jury will explain the win and how it all works. In other words, they're about to enlighten the crowd.

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 11:42

The small room at the Royal Academy of Science is absolutely packed. Journalists, television cameras, and ominous portraits on the walls. Just a few minutes until the announcement now. 
The jury is set to walk out any minute now. 

Maddy Savage, Editor, 11:21

Here are some more facts for you Nobel watchers. The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded 107 times to 196 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2013. John Bardeen is the only Nobel Laureate who has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics twice, in 1956 and 1972. This means that a total of 195 people have received the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 10:55

Our Deputy Editor Oliver Gee is passionate about getting you excited about today's prize, even if you don't like physics. But he wasn't prepared for all the attention he'd get on Twitter. You can follow him @TheUppsalaKoala.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 10:26

Here's a reminder of who Alfred Nobel is. He's one of the most famous Swedes in history. 

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 09:03

Morning readers - it's the day you've all been waiting for - the Physics Nobel. I'll be heading off to the scene shortly to report on everything as it happens, but first, how about a little Nobel Physics quiz?

Question: What's 55 years old, 99 percent likely to be a man, and has 8 million kronor ($1.1 million) in their pocket? 

Answer: The average Nobel Physics Prize winner. 

Yes, out of the 195 laureates since 1901, only two winners have been female. The average age is 55, but one genius took home the prize aged just 25 - making him the youngest ever Nobel Laureate in any field. 

MONDAY: Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology

Maddy Savage, Editor, 12: 56

That's the end of our blog for Monday. Before I left the Karolinska Institute, I challenged the Chairman of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, to explain this year's prize in 60 seconds. Professor Juleen Zierath did a great job in just 34 seconds! Have a listen:

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 12:03

You can read The Local's full story on the announcement here

In total, 263 scientists were nominated for the Medicine or Physiology prize, which was the first to be announced. So the winners must feel very proud.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 12:00

The room is starting to empty. Some science journalists are already conducting interviews, but many general news reporters here are obviously speed-reading the hand-outs we have been given to learn more about the winners. 

Maddy Savage, Editor, 11:58

Maddy Savage, Editor, 11:55

The panel has been asked about how the winners' work will impact on scientific work in future. They say that this research is likely to give important "results and inspiration", but there is no specific way in which the findings are going to be used in medicine in the immediate future. But according to the press release handed out to journalists here, the research has "opened new avenues for understanding other cognitive processes, such as memory, thinking and planning".

Maddy Savage, Editor, 11:50

The audience has been told by the Nobel Committee that the winners made their discovery by carrying out tests on rats and that birds use a similar navigation system. 

Maddy Savage, Editor, 11:46

The full press release from the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm reads:

"How do we know where we are? How can we find the way from one place to another? And how can we store this information in such a way that we can immediately find the way the next time we trace the same path? This year's Nobel Laureates have discovered a positioning system, an 'inner GPS' in the brain that makes it possible to orient ourselves in space, demonstrating a cellular basis for higher cognitive function"

Maddy Savage, Editor, 11:43

May-Britt and Edvard Moser are the 5th married couple to be awarded a Nobel Prize. They are both from Norway. John O'Keefe is from the US.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 11:40

The winners have been recognised for cell research and the judges say the scientists have helped us better understand the brain activity that helps determine "how people find their way".

Maddy Savage, Editor, 11:35

John O'Keafe was the first winner to be announced. The other half of the prize has been jointly awarded to May-Britt Moser and Edvard I Moser.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 11:30

Judges have arrived and are preparing to announce the winner. The introduction is in Swedish.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 11:30

We are all back in the auditorium awaiting the announcement. The atmosphere is tense as camera crews test their equipment and journalists frantically read through articles about who has been tipped for the prize.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 11:09

Less than twenty minutes to go until the announcement is expected. Reporters have just been asked to leave the auditorium for ten minutes while officials prepare the room.

Oliver Gee,  Deputy Editor, 10.55

We've just had this tweet in from Maddy Savage who is in the auditorium where the Medicine or Physiology prize will be revealed.

Oliver Gee,  Deputy Editor, 10.30

The Local's Editor Maddy Savage is already on her way. Follow her on Twitter and watch the whole journey live. 

Oliver Gee, Deputy Editor, 10.22

If you're sitting there confused about who Nobel is and why he's giving out prizes, it's probably best you read this. In short, Alfred Nobel was a Swedish scholar who invented dynamite in 1866. In his will, he offered his vast fortune to be shared each year with the best thinkers in a range of academic fields. Today, we're seeing the 113th prize for Medicine or Physiology. 

Nobel himself. Photo: TT

Maddy Savage, Editor, 9:51

104 prizes in Medicine or Physiology have been awarded so far. Only ten women have secured one of the awards. The average age of a Nobel winner for in this category is 58.

Maddy Savage, Editor, 09:43

Good morning from Stockholm, where we are starting our live coverage of the Nobel Prize announcements. You can also follow the @NobelPrize team on Twitter. They are already incredibly excited.


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