Weighing about 175 grams, measuring 66mm in diameter and a thickness of between 2-5mm, the medal awarded for Nobel Prize winners can represent a lifetime of work for the world’s most bright, accomplished and sometimes lucky people in the fields of Chemistry, Economics, Literature, Peace, Physics and Physiology/Medicine.

Oxford has been affiliated with 51 Nobel Prizes (just one more and there’ll be one for each week of the year!). With the annual awards taking place this week, we at the Oxford Scholastica Academy have selected our top 5 Oxford Nobel Prize winners:

  • Sir John Gurdon – Medicine (2012) Despite ranking last of 250 boys in Biology at school aged 15 and being told he was too stupid to study the subject, the British scientist was commended for his pioneering work on cloning. See his actual report card from school below!
  • Aung San Suu Kyi – Peace (1991) Burma’s modern symbol of freedom finally accepted the award in 2012, two decades years after she won it while under house arrest.
  • Seamus Heaney – Literature (1995) A former Professor of Poetry at Oxford, said that “Poetry cannot afford to lose its fundamentally self-delighting inventiveness, its joy in being a process of language as well as a representation of things in the world.”
  • Joseph Stiglitz – Economics (2001) With over 40 honorary doctorates and at least eight honourary professorships, he was recognised for his analysis of markets with asymmetric information.
  • Erwin Schrödinger – Physics (1933) Renowned for his thought experiment called the Schrödinger’s Cat (a cat being dead and alive at the same time…), he won his prize for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory. Simple.

Photo by Abhijit Bhaduri (CC BY-ND 2.0)