Students invited to Nobel lecture behind the scenes
As part of the Nobel Week, KI students were invited to a lecture on Alfred Nobel and on Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman, this year's laureates in Medicine or Physiology. Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Assembly and the Nobel Committee, shared his experiences of both the nomination process and calling surprised laureates in the middle of the night.
The evening began with mingling and canapés and continued in Alfred Nobel's footsteps where Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Assembly and the Nobel Committee at Karolinska Institutet, began by talking about the history of the Nobel Prize. He went on to talk about Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman, this year's Nobel Prize winners in Physiology or Medicine, and their research that led to the mRNA vaccines that limited the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thomas Perlmann also described the work of the Nobel Committee and the nomination and decision-making process. He described the experience of calling up new Nobel laureates and how some are really surprised to be woken up in the middle of the night - before receiving the happy news.
The students were very engaged and at the end of the lecture they were given the opportunity to ask questions. Some of the questions concerned who can nominate people for the Nobel Prize, how to work for a more equal gender distribution of laureates and what happens if someone in the Nobel Committee is nominated.