STOCKHOLM (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – Nobel laureates gathered in the Swedish capital Stockholm on Saturday for the first fully in-person award ceremonies complete with a formal banquet since the COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed events over the past two years.
The ceremony begins at 15:00 GMT and features glamorous formal wear, with the men in white ties and tails and the women in flowing gowns and elegant hairdos. Ceremonies in 2020 and 2021 were curtailed and there were no banquets.
This year, many winners from 2020 and 2021 will participate, as well as the winners from 2022: last year, for example, there was a ceremony but no winners attended as they received their medals in their home countries .
During this week the winners took part in activities ranging from panel discussions to press conferences, making time to visit schools, give talks and watch a light show.
“Given the challenges facing the world, it is particularly important to highlight Alfred Nobel’s idea of international community,” said Vidar Helgesen, executive director of the Nobel Foundation.
Five of the six Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm each year following a nomination process that is kept secret for the next 50 years. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, where separate festivities are held.
Dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel has left about 31 million kroner – about 1.8 billion kroner ($174.2 million) in today’s money according to the Foundation – to fund prizes for achievements in science, literature and in peace awarded annually since 1901.
Among the winners for 2022 is a former US Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, who won the Nobel prize in economics alongside economists Douglas Diamond and Philip Dybvig for research on how buoying failing banks can avoid an even deeper economic crisis.
The Economics Prize is a later addition to the original lineup, set up by the Swedish central bank.
After the ceremony, there is a banquet in the Town Hall, attended by the Swedish royal family, government officials, dignitaries and businessmen from different countries.
The leaders of Swedish political parties are always invited to the banquet. However Jimmie Akesson, leader of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, which became the country’s second-largest party in September’s elections, was dropped from the invite list, with his party deemed not in line with the principles of the awards.
The Nobel Foundation also snubbed the ambassadors of Russia and Belarus following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Imprisoned Belarusian activist Ales Byalyatski, the Russian rights group Memorial and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties have won the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.
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(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee; Editing by Niklas Pollard and Frances Kerry)
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