A review of radiology and Nobel Prizes

Author(s): Dr Arpan K Banerjee

Hospital: Birmingham Heartlands Hospital

Reference: RAD Magazine, 43, 510, 22


The city of Stockholm, land of the great playwright Strindberg and the influential film director Ingmar Bergman, is perhaps better associated today with Nobel Prizes, as part of the legacy of one of Sweden’s most famous sons and the inventor of dynamite Alfred Nobel (1833-1896). Nobel was a brilliant inventor and very successful businessman. But, being unlucky in love he never married and having no heir he left his vast fortune, over £200 million in today’s money, to fund prizes honouring the great achievements of his fellow men, enabling his name to be remembered in perpetuity from 1901 onwards. In the beginning the subjects considered for prizes were physics, chemistry, medicine or physiology, and literature and peace (awarded in Oslo). Economics joined the select pantheon in 1969.

Stockholm City Hall is an iconic emblem of this Scandinavian city, a venue that hosts the annual Nobel banquet for 1,500 guests in December in the presence of the Swedish monarch. The city is also home to The Nobel Museum, which opened in 2001 and is housed in the 200-year-old stock exchange building, overlooking the city’s oldest cobbled square – the Stortorget in the Gamla Stan (or old town). In the museum café one can sit on the chairs that were sat on and signed by past Laureates. If only such intelligence could be transmitted via chairs. The first floor of this building is the home of the Swedish Academy, which decides the literature prize annually in October. The world famous
Karolinska Institute is involved with the selection of the medicine prize, while the Swedish Academy of Sciences is involved in the selection of the physics and chemistry prizes.

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