Most of Nobel prizes for science went to US and Europe; hope situation would change: Carl Henrik Heldin

Heldin also said that expanding the Nobel award categories is not possible though the Foundation wished so.

Published: 01st February 2018 07:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st February 2018 07:48 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose only (File | AP)


PANAJI: Conceding that chunk of Nobel Prizes for science has gone to Europe and the US, Nobel Foundation Chairman Carl Henrik Heldin today said the situation should change and hoped that countries like India would get the coveted awards in future.

Speaking to PTI here, he said that recent hike in the cash payout for Nobel awardees happened after "correction" in the economic condition of the Foundation.

Heldin is in Goa to participate in the three-day-long Nobel Prize Series organised by Nobel Media, a wing of Nobel Foundation, which bestows the coveted award.

"Most of the Nobel Prizes in the field of science have gone to Europe and the US, but the situation should change in future and they should be distributed evenly all over the world," he said in an interview.

"I expect that in future the distribution (of prizes) would be more even across the world and countries like India and others, where there is no rapid progress, will also get the awards," he said.

Heldin also said that expanding the Nobel award categories is not possible though the Foundation wished so.

Referring to the hike in the prize money, Heldin said the Foundation was happy to raise the amount which was reportedly reduced in 2011.

"There was correction within the economy of the foundation's coffers due to which the prize money has been increased," Heldin said.

"We wanted to make the prize as big as possible. But the amount of money available puts the limit and now it was possible to increase the prize money, which we are happy for," he said.

Heldin said there was an element of optimism in the market over the "sorts of gradually increase" in the prize money.

"...And then some 20 years go, it (went) up to 10 million Swedish krona at the time when stocks went up and the future looked very bright.

"But in reality, development of the value of the fund was not as good as predicted and there was a need to correct and lower the prize money for a while," he said referring to the reduction in the prize amount in 2011.

Heldin said they decided to increase the prize money, as the Foundation's economy has been on the rise.

The Foundation had announced that the the amount of prizes given for excellence in the fields of science, literature and peace will be raised to 9 million Swedish krona from 8 million krona.

As per reports, the Foundation had cut the amount of the Nobel Prize in 2011 to 8 million krona from 10 million krona and began cost savings after a decade of over-spending.

Heldin said the Foundation has been handling the fortunes of Alfred Nobel, the benefactor of the Nobel Prize.

"We have invested the money and tried to get them grow. The expenses connected with the Nobel Prizes and the money needed for the selection committee and other activities are being taken care of through these funds," he said.

The Foundation feels that it would have been nice to have additional areas under the Nobel Prize categories.

"However, that is not possible because Alfred Nobel donated his fortune to this and had specified very clearly what should be the areas where there should be prizes. This is not possible for us to change," Heldin said.

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