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Which Nobel Prize would you prefer?

When I was at University studying biology I loved to ask my fellow students following question:

“Would you prefer to be awarded with a Nobel Prize in one of the Science fields or with the Nobel Peace Prize?”

Most of them answered that they would prefer a Nobel Prize in Science. After all, they were Scientists to be. For them an award in science would be recognition for a real achievement and real hard work.

I, on the other hand, was not so sure. For me both, a Nobel Peace Prize as well as one for Science, meant to be incredibly useful and beneficial to people and having a positive influence on the world.

I’m just thinking aloud of course. I will – probably – never bee awarded with a Nobel Prize in Science or Peace! But why not dwell in the land of imagination for a while?

Who are these people being awarded with a Nobel Prize and what amazing things have they done?


Alfred Nobel

On November 27, 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, giving the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes, the Nobel Prizes! In 1901 the first 5 Noble Prizes were awarded for Peace, literature and the three sciences Physics, Chemistry and Medicine/Physiology.

Since then the Noble Prize nominations and final ceremonies are a yearly highlight and the reasons and achievements behind it are interesting and mostly fascinating.


Nobel Peace Prize

In 2014 The Nobel Peace Prize 2014 was awarded jointly to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education” 

They so deserved it! But they also went through many sufferings and hard times, even facing death.

Kailash-SatyarthiKailash Satyarthimalala-yousafzai-Malala Yousafzai

Among the Nobel Peace Prize winners of the past were individuals like Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer, the 14th Dalai Lama, Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela as well as organizations like the European Union (EU), Médecins Sans Frontières, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations (with Kofi Anan).

Sometimes people all over the word agree with the choices, and sometimes people disagree and shake heads over the choices made!!!


Nobel Prizes in the Science fields


In 2014 the scientific Nobel Prizes were all awarded honoring amazing achievements which were of great benefit to mankind:

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014 was awarded jointly to Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy”.

Amazingly, the movement of individual molecules inside living cells can be seen, e.g. how molecules create synapses between nerve cells in the brain.


brain cell

courtesy of

The Nobel Prize for Medicine goes also in the direction of cells and the brain:

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014 was divided, one half awarded to John O’Keefe, the other half jointly to May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser “for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain”.

The brain has always been a fascinating topic and of greatest interest to the world. After all, we humans all have a brain. We wonder how it works and sometimes we even wonder what it does for us and to us. Even the very first and very crucial studies about nerve cells and learning already led to a Nobel Prize how I described in my post How teasing a sea snail led to a Nobel Prize.

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2014 was awarded jointly to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources”.

What they mean are the LED lights we all know and which are very popular because of their energy saving possibilities.  They are simply more long-lasting and more efficient than older light sources. Well done! Great benefit to all of us!


Well, there is more fascinating Physics out there. Do you want to know what the universe is made of? Then you may want to read about last year’s Nobel Prize in Physics  (awarded to Higgs and Englert) ‘What the Higgs!’


Nobel Prize in Literature


I couldn’t write without mentioning the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 was awarded to Patrick Modiano“for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation”.

Like other writers awarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature – just want to mention Alice Munro, Herta Müller and Orhan Pamuk – Modiano dwells on the more melancholic, depressed and dark side of the world. This makes me think if it would be possible for a positive optimistic world-loving author to be awarded at all?

patrick modiano


Over to you! There exists in my world of imagination a Nobel Prize in ‘Engaged, Honest, and Impactful Blogging’. And I award it to you.

But I would also love to know which Nobel Prize would you honesty and deeply prefer to be awarded?

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Hi I'm Ilka, a self-development writer and lovable scientist with a knowledgeable expertise in brain science. I help people realize the power our behavior has on our brain - and the other way around.

Ella - January 15, 2015

Hey Ilka!

Very interesting post you have written here. Just great! I’ve learned a lot about Noble Prize winners today. I am not always following all Noble Prizes and sometimes I don’t really understand what they are about. But I do understand brain and LED 😉

I would prefer Literature. Books and writing mean the world to me !!!

    simplyilka - January 16, 2015

    Hi Ella!

    I am glad that you liked the post and that you have learned something as well. Yes, a brain and LED are part of our daily life

ikechie - January 16, 2015

Hi Iika

I never knew much about the noble prize winners till I read your blog today. Thanks for opening my eyes to the concept of the Noble Prize.

As for which Nobel Prize I prefer, I would go for the Nobel Peace Prize. I love people who make a difference in the world.
ikechie recently posted…The Most Common Excuses We Make to Avoid Working on OurselvesMy Profile

    simplyilka - January 16, 2015

    Hi Ickechi!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am glad you could learn something through the post!

    I can see you with the Noble Peace Prize! You are already having a positive influence on people through your blog!

    All the best,

writerwannabe763 - January 16, 2015

I would like the ‘peace’ prize… because I would like to believe that somehow there could be peace whether in the world, or closer to home…. Diane
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    simplyilka - January 16, 2015

    Thank you Diane!

    I know you for a while now as my blogging friend, and I am not surprised you chose peace

Harleena Singh - January 16, 2015

Hi Ilka,

That was surely an informative post 🙂

Yes, there are so many Noble Prizes as you mentioned, and usually one doesn’t come across the details, so it was good to read and know more about them.

I would personally choose Noble Peace Prize and the one for Literature, I guess you knew I would 😉

Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend 🙂
Harleena Singh recently posted…GEMS Of The ABC January 2015 And A GiveawayMy Profile

    simplyilka - January 16, 2015

    Hi Harleena!

    You are right! I would have guessed Peace – and also Literature! You are both. I would love see you with your positive and inspirational writing being awarded! And of course you are most helpful and peaceful.

    Thank you so much for sharing your thought.

Yvonne I. Wilson - January 16, 2015

Hi IIka

This is such an informative post and I admire your courage to do the research in orfer to bring such information to us.

A number of persons I am hearing about for the first time here. Of course there are the well known and popular ones that it’s hard to miss them.

I will definitely choose the Noble Peace Prize. There is a strong sense of urgency for peace on earth. I am certain we can agree to that.

Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.
Yvonne I. Wilson recently posted…Ways In Which Honest Self-Reflection Can Inspire and Motivate YouMy Profile

    simplyilka - January 17, 2015

    Thank you Yvonne!

    I am glad that you enjoyed the post and that you found it informative.

    I absolutely agree with you that there is a strong sense of urgency for peace on earth 🙂 I am thrilled to see people like you who have such a gentle heart and are a positive influence on people through blogging or otherwise 🙂

    Enjoy your day Ilka

Ajay Pai - January 17, 2015

I wish that a Nobel Prize is announced for Blogging too !

After all we can squeeze this to Literature ! Aah, If at all !
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    simplyilka - January 17, 2015

    Hi Ajay!

    Literature is definitely great 🙂

    And the imaginary blogging Nobel Prize is already awarded to you 😉 If Blogging would have existed in 1895 Alfred Nobel would have surely included it into his prizes.

    Have a great day Ilka

Nikshep - January 17, 2015

Nobel for Literature definitely 🙂 That way I can keep influencing the future generations through my words even long after I’m gone 🙂
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    simplyilka - January 17, 2015

    Hi Nikshep!

    I really like your thinking! I do hope that you will influence future generations, with or without Nobel Prize.

    Thank you so much for sharing this thought 🙂

Sherri - January 17, 2015

What a fascinating post this is Ilka, packed full of interesting facts as always. I have a blogging friend who worked with Kailash Satyarthi, I’ll send him the link to your post 🙂 These are all amazingly deserved Nobel prizes. I would like to receive one for literature, yes, but only if it really was because of making a real difference in people’s lives for the better. So in that regard, I would love best of all to receive one for helping children <3
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    simplyilka - January 18, 2015

    Hi Sherri!

    Really interesting that you know someone who worked with Kailash Satyarthi. He sure made a difference for the better and deserved the recognition.

    And that’s a great point who made as well. Is is not just about a prize. It is about the achievement and good deeds behind the prize. And so I wish you all the recognition for helping children. What a great cause 🙂

Rahul Krishnan - January 18, 2015

Hi Ilka,
Awesome post.
I am proud to be an Indian, the co-native Kailash Sathyarthi Sir.
I salute you sir, for serving children for more than 20years.
Malala yousufsay needs no introduction. She grew from just a small girl to a brave iconic person.
Nobel for science meant for the intelligence but that for peace meant for humanity.
Awesome post. Keep it up.

    simplyilka - January 19, 2015

    Hi Rahul!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and welcome to my blog!

    For sure you can be proud of your co-native Kailash Sathyarthi. He we deserved a Nobel Prize.

    You are right that the Nobel Peace Prize is for Humanity. I think that’s what makes it so special to so many of us.

    All the Best to you, Ilka

donna merrill - January 18, 2015

Hi Ilka,

What a great topic you have put together. I especially like the Nobel Prize winners on science. Although I tend to be a humanitarian, I feel that science is something well needed.

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    simplyilka - January 19, 2015

    Hi Donna!

    Thank you for your kind words. I am glad you liked the post. I totally agree that science is something well needed. I saw a movie today which played 200 years ago. When they brutally pulled this one guy’s tooth I was thankful living in the time of anesthesia. Thanks to science 🙂

vernon - January 19, 2015

Hi Ilka,

I would have to say Peace and Physics. I love peace and believe that what we all should strive for. Then Physics because in my profession I have to know it. Honestly I don’t think I know enough physics to win the Nobel Prize. I’m just dwelling in the land of imagination. 😆

I appreciate the education on this subject now I’m about to Google it to learn more.

Thanks my friend!

    simplyilka - January 19, 2015

    Hi Vernon!

    Thank you for dwelling in the land of imagination with me!

    I am glad you liked the post and found it educational. you are right we should all strive for peace. No matter what! Good to hear that physics is part of your profession; fellow scientist 🙂

    Have a great week, Ilka

Marylin Warner - January 21, 2015

I cheered for Alice Munro, and Nelson Mandela. Words have a stirring, calming, inspiring, troubling way of making readers wake up or reconsider ideas or feel less alone. For me, Ilka, the Literature Prize is the one.

    simplyilka - January 21, 2015

    Hi Marylin!

    Yes! Alice Munro and Nelson Mandela are worth the cheering 🙂

    And a Literature Prize is a fantastic Prize for you. I love the way you are able to play with words and produce emotions.

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