Highlights of Nobel Week’23

As a science enthusiast, one of the most important weeks for me is the Nobel week. It is full of celebrating great achievements in science. As you might already know Nobel Prize is given in Stockholm (Sweden) and Oslo (Norway) and the week between 6-12 December is full of lectures, ceremonies, and art shows for the Nobel Prize week. As stated in Alfred Nobel’s will, it is awarded to people who conferred the greatest benefit to humankind in the areas of peace, literature, physics, chemistry, physiology and medicine, and economic sciences. If you want to learn more about Nobel Prize and its history, I encourage you to visit the Nobel Prize Museum in Gamla Stan.

I have already joined most of the celebrations last year and this year I have also tried my best to enjoy this week, and in this blog, I want to tell my experiences and how we celebrate science in Stockholm. All of the Nobel lectures and the Nobel Week Lights are free to attend and open to the public. This year, I will also share my experience during this week and give you a glimpse of Nobel Week 2023.  Let’s start with the Physiology and Medicine Award, which is given by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet!

Physiology and Medicine

Aula Medica stage before the Nobel Talks Image credits: Yagmur Balim Urem

As I went to the Nobel lectures last year, I knew that there would be a queue in front of Aula Media located at KI. That is why I gathered my friends who were crazy enough like me to wait in a line at -5 degrees for 1,5-2 hours. After waiting, we were welcomed by organizers and this time they handed us a ticket that designated our seats (which was not the case in 2022). That is why if you would like to sit next to your friends, I would suggest entering the auditorium at the same time as your friends.

This year Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine was given to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman for their discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. I was extremely excited about this lecture because, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed history made for the discovery of effective vaccines in such a short amount of time. This achievement would not be possible if we did not have the knowledge and expertise created by Katalin Karikó, Drew Weissman and other scientists. That is why I was very excited to listen to their lectures and learn about their work.

Drew Weissman’s lecture, Image credits: Yagmur Balim Urem

During the lectures, they talked not only about their achievements but also their failures and I believe this was very inspiring for young scientists to see.

Katalin Karikó’s lecture, Image credits: Yagmur Balim Urem

Chemistry & Physics

Unfortunately, this year I couldn’t attend the live lectures for chemistry and physics. However, all lectures are recorded. This year Nobel Prize for chemistry was awarded to Moungi Bawendi, Louis Brus and Aleksey Yekimov for the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots. However, all the lectures are recorded and you can check out this link, to listen to lectures of Chemistry Nobel Laureates.

Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter. If you would like to learn more about their work and get inspired you can watch their lectures from this link.

Nobel Week Lights 

Another highlight of Nobel Week was the Nobel Week Lights, a combination of contemporary art, music and science. This year, all the artwork was close to each other, so I and my friends took a 2-hour walk around the city centre to see the lights. There were many interactive installations this year and the pictures definitely don’t do justice to show how magical was the lights around Stockholm. If you happen to be around Stockholm next year, I would definitely recommend visiting at least one or two of them to experience how science can inspire art.

Some of the artworks from Nobel Week lights
Image credits: Yagmur Balim Urem

See you in the next blog!

Yagmur - Molecular Techniques in Life Science

Yagmur - Molecular Techniques in Life Science

My name is Yağmur, and I am from Turkey. I am a student on the Master’s Programme in Molecular Techniques in Life Science. Living in Sweden and studying at KI started as a dream, yet here I am (my life motto “everything is possible” still holds until further notice). In my free time, I like watching movies and listening to music from all around the world. I enjoy sharing my experiences in life. So, if everyone is ready, welcome to my blog and let’s begin the journey…


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