Ever since the Nobel Prize was instituted in 1901, it has become the most prestigious award in the world. However, these prizes have not remained untouched by scandals and controversies. Let us have a look at some of the most scandalous and controversial Nobel Prize stories.
Controversial 1994 Peace Prize
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In 1994, when Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization shared the Nobel Prize with Shimon Peres and Israelis Yitzhak Rabin for their efforts to restore peace between Israel and Palestine, many critics raised their voice against this decision. According to the critics, Arafat did not deserve this prize, as he was the leader of Fatah, an organization engaged in terrorist activities.
1997 Prize forLiterature
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In 1997, Italian actor-playwright Dario Fo got the Nobel Prize. However, some critics initially called him “rather lightweight” because he was once censored by the Roman Catholic Church and was seen as a mere performer. Instead Arthur Miller and Salman Rushdie were favored to get the prize but were later quoted as being “too popular” and “too predictable” by a committee member.
Nobel Prize nomination of Hitler
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In 1939 a Swedish legislator nominated Hitler for a Nobel Prize. Naturally the news came as a shock for everyone. The Swede argued that he had nominated Hitler for fun, but the public did not find it amusing at all and this created uproar in the nation. Soon the nomination was withdrawn to calm down the resentment of the people.
Physics Nobel in 1997
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In 1997 Steven Chu, William Daniel Philips and Claude Cohen Tannoudji were given Nobel Prize for the discovery of method through which one could cool and trap atoms with the help of a laser light. The award came into dispute when some Russian scientists claimed that had made this discovery way before. They questioned the basis on which the awardees are given priority.
Denial to accept the award
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Jean Paul Sartre entered into controversy in 1964 by refusing to accept Nobel Prize for literature. Thereafter, in 1974 Le DucTho was given prize along with Henry Kissinger for peace by bringing the Vietnam War to an end. Le, however, refused to accept the prize stating that there is still no peace in the nation.
Prize committee overlooks females
The Nobel Prize courted a big controversy in 2014, when it was claimed that only forty-seven women till date had received the Nobel Prize,out of a total of altogether 864 people and 25 organizations that had received this prestigious prize. It was argued that the committees overlook females when it comes to giving the prize.
These incidents show that no matter how big and ideal the Nobel Prize is, controversies are never too far from it.