The 2008 Nobel Prizes are handed out in Oslo and Stockholm today. Each of the 6 awards, given in Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Economics, Peace, and Medicine, is worth $1 million. The winners also get a nice medal and a diploma.
You can view a list of all winners, for this and previous years, at http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/lists/2008.html.
Some Highlights from this year:
Search our library catalog, and you'll find that we have several books by literature prize winner Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio. Most are written in the author's native French, though we do have a few translations. If you do a catalog search, perform a Basic Search for Author by Le Clezio.
Interestingly, and rather sadly, the researcher whose discovery of the jellyfish luminescence gene laid the foundation for the Nobel Prize winning research in chemistry is no longer working in science. After he lost his funding for the jellyfish project, and subsequently lost a job at NASA, the researcher took the best job he could find: as a courtesy shuttle driver in Huntsville, Alabama. The three Nobel laureates split a $1.4 million prize, but Prasher, the shuttle driving former researcher who gave away his information on the gene, gets nothing from the Nobel organization. The Nobel winning researchers did, however, fly Prasher and his wife to Stockholm at their own expense and will presumably acknowledge him in their acceptance speeches. Read and hear more about Prasher's story at NPR.org.