Thursday, September 16, 2010

(SOCIAL) Israeli Nobel Prize Winners

Since the establishment of the State of Israel, seven Israelis have won the Nobel Prize. The most prestigious award in the world, this prize is named after the Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel and distributed each year to select individuals for their contribution to humanity and achievements in the fields of physics, chemistry, economics, medicine or physiology, literature and peace. Below is a list of the Israeli winners.

1966 S.Y. Agnon – The first to fill our hearts with Nobel pride
In 1966 S.Y. Agnon won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He wrote in rich, matchless Hebrew, mainly about the Jewish world. During his lifetime he published dozens of books and stories that gained admiration and even tremendous commercial success, including “Shira,” “Only Yesterday,” “A Simple Story” and others. His prize was shared with Jewish poet Nelly Sachs.

1978 Menachem Begin wins the Nobel Peace Prize
The first Likud Party Israeli prime minister, Menachem Begin z”l, was the first Israeli politician to win the Nobel Prize for Peace, along with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, after signing the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt.

1994 Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres win the Nobel Peace Prize
For their efforts and activities to promote peace in the Middle East, former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin z”l and current President of the State of Israel Shimon Peres received the Nobel Prize for Peace.

2002 Prof. Daniel Kahneman proves that “wealth is not happiness” and becomes the first Israeli Nobel Laureate in Economics
The first Israel recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics was Prof. Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist who won the prize in 2002 along with an American, Vernon Smith. The prize was awarded for integrating psychology research into economics, pertaining to processes of judgment and decision-making under conditions of uncertainty. Kahneman discovered in his research that very rich people with immediate access to all the good things that money can buy are no happier than people of average means. It turns out that above a certain poverty line, human happiness is not a function of material wealth…

2004 The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Technion researchers Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover for the “kiss of death” for proteins
Two years after Kahneman, a pair of Israelis,Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover, from the Technion in Haifa, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Together they discovered the “death tag” for proteins, a molecule that sticks to damaged proteins or those whose time is up, and signals to the cell to destroy them. This is how the human body creates proteins to defend itself against infections. The prize committee wrote in its decision: “When the system does not work properly, we become sick: cervical cancer and cystic fibrosis are two examples of this. The three men’s work helped develop medicines that can cope with such situations.”

2005 Yisrael Aumann’s Game Theory leads Israel to another Nobel Prize in Economics
In 2005, Yisrael Robert Aumann won the Nobel Prize in Economics (along with Thomas Schelling) for his research in the realm of Game Theory. Among the reasons for bestowing the prize on him, it was said that greater understanding of the term ‘human rationality’ was achieved, and that thanks to the research, behaviors that were previously considered irrational have now been given a rational explanation

2009 Prof. Ada Yonath, the first Israeli woman to win a Nobel Prize
Israeli scientist Prof. Ada Yonath, a prominent researcher in the field of structured biology, was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry since 1964. The research by Yonath, focused on the structure of the ribosome, the organelle in a cell that serves as a “protein factory” and translates the genetic code into protein production.

Not only from Israel: 22% of all Nobel Prize winners are Jewish
The number of Jews in the world is about 14 million, comprising some 0.2% of the world’s population. The list of Jews or their descendents who have won the Nobel Prize (as of the end of 2009) numbers 176 out of 804 (not including institutions), which comes to 22% of all Nobel Prize winners.
Here is a breakdown of the Jewish winners according to topic:

  • Physiology and Medicine: 51 Jewish Nobel Prize winners out of 195 = 26.1%.
  • Physics: 47 Jewish Nobel Prize winners out of 186 total = 25.3%.
  • Economics: 26 Jewish Nobel Prize winners out of 64 total = 40.1%.
  • Chemistry: 30 Jewish Nobel Prize winners out of 156 total = 19.2%.
  • Literature: 13 Jewish Nobel Prize winners out of 106 total = 12.3%.
  • Peace: 9 Nobel Prize winners out of 97 total (not including institutions) = 9.3%.

Want alerts for new videos?
Like us on Facebook.