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Nobel encyclopedia
Web Watch

It is the most prestigious award given for intellectual achievement in the world. Closely watched and contested every year, a Nobel Prize is considered the ultimate recognition of a person or organisation’s contribution in the field of literature, physics, chemistry, medicine and peace. The Nobel winners are forever immortalised in history as their discoveries and achievements are considered ground-breaking. To explore all aspects of the Nobel phenomenon, head to the official website www.nobelprize.org. Readers will find information about the prize since its conception in1901. The site also lists biographies of Nobel laureates, Nobel lectures, interviews, photographs, articles, video clips and educational games.

On nobelprize.org, readers get to know about the names of the year’s Nobel laureates seconds after the prize announcements are made by the Nobel prize-awarding committee each October. By early December, when Nobel laureates arrive in Stockholm and Oslo to receive the prize, their activities are closely reported and presented through videos on the site. Readers experience the magic of the Nobel Prize award ceremonies through live web casts.

The home page sports a chic design that is interspersed with images of Nobel laureates of 2012. Each award category is represented in a separate section on the main page. For instance, in the section on the 2012 Nobel prize in physics, the links featured include the banquet speech of the recipients, their biographies, the Nobel diplomas, videos of their official speech and interviews. The other Nobel award sections come with similar links about the recipients.

Most of us are able to catch only a few glimpses of the Nobel award ceremony on news channels. On nobelprize.org, readers can view the entire event lasting 90 minutes, including music by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Visitors also get to watch videos of the grand banquet that follows the award ceremony for Nobel laureates and guests, including the royal family of Sweden. A Nobel week dialogue takes place before the actual event involving several panel discussions with scientists and academicians. Visitors have access to videos from the Nobel dialogue week as well on the homepage.

If there was no Alfred Nobel, there would certainly be no Nobel prize. When Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist and philanthropist and the inventor of dynamite died on December 10, 1896, his will specified that his vast fortune be used to fund individuals or organisations that provide the greatest benefit to mankind. A section on the site is dedicated to the man behind the prize with biographical information, a slideshow about his will and a virtual tour of his home in Bjorkborn in Sweden.

The site makes a good attempt of simplifying and introducing a fun element to the work of Nobel laureates in the educational section. Games and simulations based on the Nobel prize help young minds engage with works of some of the world’s famous geniuses.

From blood types to DNA, the section has an interesting mix of intelligent games. Other informative links in this segment include a documentary on the immune system and the nervous system as well as one on the world’s democracies.

As a homage to Alfred Nobel who spent his last years in Sanremo in Italy, the city of Sanremo sends flowers to decorate the Stockholm concert hall where the award ceremony takes place. A short video on the site shows florists choosing flowers for the event. Yet another video tells viewers about how the Nobel medals are created. Through such intricate details the site makes the event come alive for the reader. Eye-catching visuals, informative videos and several links about past and present Nobel prize winners make this official website a must visit for young minds.

With more than 45 million visitors every year, it is fast becoming a learning resource for teachers and students. Students not only learn all the aspects of the acclaimed prize but also find out about new developments in their field of interest in the various award categories.

Through biographies and interviews of Nobel laureates they discover the force of creative work. It is thus a great site to get brownie points in homework projects and quiz shows. But remember all information on the site is protected under copyright laws and you need citations to use content from the website.

fast facts

WHAT IS it?

A portal that gives the complete lowdown on all aspects of Nobel prize

address

www.nobelprize.org

Downside

All information is protected under copyright laws and one needs citations to use content from the website

Tessy Koshy
Tessy Koshy@yahoo.com