2009 Nobel laureates receive their prizes

08:22, December 11, 2009      

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Twelve laureates -- including five women -- of the 2009 Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry, medicine and literature and the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel received their prizes on Thursday at a ceremony in the Stockholm Concert Hall in the capital of Sweden.

Marcus Storch, chairman of the Board of the Nobel Foundation, extended a warm welcome in his address to the laureates and their families to the ceremony in honor of the laureates and their contributions to science and literature.

The 2009 Nobel Prize winners attend the prize giving ceremony at the Concert Hall in Stockholm December 10, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Storch said so far a total of 822 laureates have been awarded in a time span of 108 years.

"From the very beginning, the Nobel Prize attracted great attention around the world as the very first international prize --by virtue of a cosmopolitan key statement in the will of Alfred Nobel," said Storch, adding that the prize-awarding institutions have shown good flexibility within the framework of the Nobel disciplines in capturing important new trends.

All the 12 laureates this year attended the ceremony, and Nobel laureate in physics Professor Charles Kao from Hong Kong was the first one who received the prize from the hands of the Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf, together with co-winners Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith.

The three Nobel Prize laureates in chemistry are Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath, and the three Nobel Medicine Prize laureates are Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak.

Nobel Prize laureate in literature is Herta Muller, and laureates in Economics are Elinor Ostrom and Oliver E. Williamson.

Each prize consists of a medal, a personal diploma and a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (about 1.4 million U.S. dollars).

The Nobel Prize laureates will also attend a gala banquet a few blocks away at the Stockholm city hall after the ceremony.

The Nobel Prizes are usually announced in October and handed out every year on Dec. 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist and the inventor of dynamite.

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