Nobel Prize award ceremony was held in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, on Sunday.
The ceremony began at 4:30 PM on Sunday at a concert hall in central Stockholm. The Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony was held in Oslo, Norway, earlier in the day.
The 11 recipients of the 3 prizes in natural sciences, the literature prize and the economic sciences prize entered the venue as a march composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was played.
Professor Carl-Henrik Heldin, the chairman of the board of the Nobel Foundation, said there have been moves in the world to challenge facts and rational thinking by presenting faulty thoughts and irresponsible action.
He warned that even the basic human rights of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have been ignored in their treatment.
He said Alfred Nobel hoped that people would take action based on a humanitarian way of thinking and critical assessment. He said Nobel’s aspiration is important in the current world.
His speech was followed by the announcement on the contributions of this year’s Nobel laureates.
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the Noble Peace prize. Director ICAN warned on Sunday as the United States and North Korea exchange threats over the nation’s nuclear tests. “Will it be the end of nuclear weapons, or will it be the end of us?” ICAN head Beatrice Fihn.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula seems spiralled as Pyongyang has in recent months ramped up its number of missiles and nuclear tests.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un has exchanged warlike threats with US President Donald Trump, who has ordered a military show of force.
“The only rational course of action is to cease living under the conditions where our mutual destruction is only one impulsive tantrum away,” Fihn added.
ICAN, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons is a coalition of hundreds of NGOs around the world has worked for a treaty banning nuclear weapons, which was adopted in July by 122 countries. But the text was weakened by the absence of the nine nuclear powers among the signatories.
In an apparent snub of the ICAN-backed treaty, the three western nuclear powers with veto power in UN, the US, France, and Britain, broke with tradition by sending commoner diplomats rather than their ambassadors to Sunday’s ceremony.
Several survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings, which killed more than 220,000 people 72 years ago, attended the ceremony in the Oslo City Hall.
One of them, Setsuko Thurlow, received the Nobel on behalf of ICAN jointly with Fihn.
Speaking to AFP ahead of the ceremony, Thurlow recalled the horrific aftermath of the first atomic bomb in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, when she was 13 years old.
Thurlow described corpses lying on the ground, the injured and dying calling for help and the survivors looking like “a procession of ghosts”.
“The hair was standing up and they were all burned on the skin and their flesh was hanging from their bones,” she said.
“Some were carrying their eyeballs. It just was like hell on earth,” added the 85-year-old who now lives in Canada and uses a wheelchair.
At a separate ceremony in Stockholm on Sunday, Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf handed over the Nobel prizes in literature, physics, chemistry, medicine, and economics.
Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine was awarded to Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael Young for their discovery of “molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.”
The Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish, and Kip Thorne “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.”
The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank, and Richard Henderson “for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution.”
The Nobel Prize in literature was awarded to Kazuo Ishiguro “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.”
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”
Each prize consists of a diploma, a gold medal and a cheque for nine million Swedish kroner (900,000 euros).