Nobel Prize Recipients Will Receive Awards in Home Countries Due to COVID

Nobel Prize recipients will receive their awards in their home countries as the prize ceremonies are scaled down for a second year due to the COVD-19 pandemic, the foundation said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

"It is now also clear that this year's Nobel festivities in December—when the laureates are honored in Stockholm and Oslo—will be a mixture of digital and physical events," the Nobel Foundation said.

The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted plans to honor the 12 Nobel laureates named in 2020. The formal banquet was canceled, and smaller ceremonies were held in Europe and the United States.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Nobel Prize Ireland
Nobel Prizes will be awarded in recipients' home countries as the COVID-19 pandemic interrupts ceremonies a second straight year. Above, the Nobel gold medal and a manuscript belonging to Irish playwright and poet William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) on display at the Sligo museum, County Sligo, Ireland. RDImages/Epics/Getty Images

The winners of this year's prizes in chemistry, literature, physics, medicine and economics, as well as the Nobel Peace Prize, are set to be announced between October 4 and 11.

The foundation said the presentation events will be woven together with an awards ceremony at Stockholm City Hall on December 10, which is the anniversary of the death of prize founder Albert Nobel. The peace prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway, because Nobel wanted it that way for reasons he kept to himself.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee is keeping open the possibility of welcoming the Nobel Peace Prize winner or winners to Oslo, the foundation said. The committee plans to announce the format of its festivities in mid-October.

"I think everybody would like the COVID-19 pandemic to be over, but we are not there yet," Nobel Foundation Executive Director Vidar Helgesen said in a statement. "Uncertainty about the course of the pandemic and international travel possibilities is the reason why the 2021 laureates will receive their medals and diplomas in their home countries."

Helgesen said the foundation is "looking forward to reaching even more people around the world by using new formats and digital solutions."

"It is clear that in Stockholm and Sweden, there will be less attention around the award ceremony and banquet, but globally we try to arrange a really nice celebration of the award winners," he was quoted as saying by Swedish news agency TT.

Looking at last year's events, "some of the digital production gained greater global reach than we have seen before," Helgensen told TT.

A Nobel Prize comes with a 10-milion krona ($1.15 million) cash award—to be shared in some cases—diplomas and gold medals.

The six awards are handed out by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institutet, the Swedish Academy and the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Nobel Prize Awards
The Nobel Prize ceremonies will be reined in for a second year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Above, a medal to be presented to Nobel Laureate in Physics Roger Penrose from the Swedish ambassador to the U.K., Torbjorn Sohlstrom, at the ambassador's residence in London in 2020. Niklas Halle'n/Pool via AP, File