Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg is considered a frontrunner for the Peace Prize, the winner of which will be announced on Friday

By Rachel DeSantis
October 07, 2019 01:28 PM
Nobel Peace Prize
Ragnar Singsaas/Getty

The Nobel Prize is announcing its winners for 2019 this week, and all eyes are on Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage climate change activist widely seen as the frontrunner for the Peace Prize.

Thunberg’s category, the winner of which will be announced on Friday, is one of five created by Alfred Nobel in his third and last will in 1895, which left much of his wealth to establishing a prize for those who “conferred the greatest benefit to humankind” during the preceding year.

This year, there are 301 candidates (223 individuals, and 78 organizations) up for the Peace Prize, according to the Nobel Foundation.

The nominees in all categories — whose names are never announced and cannot be revealed until 50 years have passed — are picked by members of academies, university professors, scientists, previous Nobel Laureates, and members of parliamentary assemblies.

Even so, three Norwegian lawmakers told Norwegian media outlet VG in March they had nominated Thunberg because “the climate threat may be one of the most important causes of war and conflict.”

RELATED: Swedish Environmental Activist Greta Thunberg, 16, Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg/Twitter

The Norwegian Nobel Committee is responsible for selecting the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, with the winners chosen through a majority vote.

They will receive their prize — a medal, a certificate, and a cash award of about $900,000, according to Time — in December.

See below for a list of winners for the 2019 Nobel Prize.

2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

This year’s prize in physiology or medicine was awarded to William G. Kaelin Jr., Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, and Gregg L. Semenza for their “discoveries in how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability,” according to a press release.

The trio’s work — which involved identifying “molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen” — was recognized for helping pave the way “for promising new strategies to fight anaemia, cancer and many other diseases.”

2019 Nobel Prize in Physics

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three different men “for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos.”

One half of the prize went to James Peebles “for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology,” while the other half was split between Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz “for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.”

2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The award for chemistry was jointly awarded this year to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino “for the development of lithium-ion batteries.”

2019 and 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded on Thursday to Polish author Olga Tokarczuk “for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life.”

The 2019 prize went to Austrian author Peter Handke “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.”

No prize was awarded last year amid sexual harassment and abuse allegations against Jean-Claude Arnault, the husband of an academy member and a recipient of academy funds, according to the Washington Post. Arnault received a two-year prison sentence in Sweden after being found guilty of raping a woman in 2011, the BBC reported in October 2018. The scandal prompted academy head Sara Danius and others to step down, and Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf said in a statement the prize announcement would be postponed so the academy could “focus on restoring its reputation.”

2019 Nobel Prize in Peace

The peace prize was awarded to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for “his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.”

The Norwegian Nobel Committee also noted that the win was “meant to recognize all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.”

2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

The prize in economic sciences went jointly to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.”

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