Nobel Prizes 2018

IAS Prelims 2023

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2018: (Tools made of light): The Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 was awarded “for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics” with one half to Arthur Ashkin (USA) “for the optical tweezers and their application to biological systems” and the other half jointly to Gérard Mourou (France) and Donna Strickland (Canada) “for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses”.

Their inventions have revolutionised laser physics. Extremely small objects and incredibly rapid processes are now being seen in a new light. Advanced precision instruments are opening up unexplored areas of research and a multitude of industrial and medical applications.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018 was awarded with one half to Frances H. Arnold (USA) “for the directed evolution of enzymes” and the other half jointly to George P. Smith (USA) and Sir Gregory P. Winter (UK) “for the phage display of peptides and antibodies.” (Power of evolution) This year’s Nobel Laureates have been inspired by the power of evolution and used the same principles – genetic change and selection – to develop proteins that solve humankind’s chemical problems.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018: (Cancer therapy: Releasing the brakes of immunity) The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018 was awarded to James P. Allison (USA) and Tasuku Honjo (Japan) “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.” The Laureates has shown how different strategies for inhibiting the brakes on the immune system can be used in the treatment of cancer. Their discoveries are a landmark in our fight against cancer.

Nobel Peace Prize 2018: (Courageously combating war crimes and seeking justice for victims) Both laureates have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, war crimes. Denis Mukwege (Congo) is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims. Nadia Murad (Yazidi, Iraqi, lives in Germany) is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others. Each of them in their own way has helped to give greater visibility to war-time sexual violence, so that the perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions.

The Prize in Economic Sciences 2018: (Integrating innovation and climate with economic growth) The Prize in Economic Sciences 2018 has been awarded to William D. Nordhaus (USA) “for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis” and Paul M. Romer (USA) “for integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis.” Their findings have significantly broadened the scope of economic analysis by constructing models that explain how the market economy interacts with nature and knowledge.

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature has been postponed.