Nobel Foundation - History - The Nobel Foundation

The Nobel Foundation

The Nobel Foundation was founded as a private organisation on 29 June 1900 specifically to manage the finances and administration of the Nobel Prizes. It is based on Nobel's last will and testament. At the time Nobel's will led to much scepticism and criticism and thus it was not until April 26, 1897 that his will was approved by the Storting. Soon thereafter they appointed the members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee that was to award the Peace Prize. Shortly after, the other prize-awarding organizations followed; Karolinska Institutet on June 7, the Swedish Academy on June 9 and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on June 11. The next thing the Nobel Foundation did was to try to agree on guidelines for how the Nobel Prize should be awarded. In 1900 the Nobel Foundation's newly created statutes were promulgated by King Oscar II.

In 1905 the Union between Sweden and Norway was dissolved which meant the responsibility for awarding Nobel Prizes was split between the two countries. Norway's Nobel Committee became the awarder of the Peace Prize while Sweden became the awarder of the other prizes.

In accordance with Nobel's will, the primary task of the Nobel Foundation is to manage the fortune Nobel left after him in a fund. Another important task of the Nobel Foundation is to represent the Nobel Prize to the outside world and to take charge of informal activities and issues related to the awarding of the Nobel Prizes. The Nobel Foundation is not involved in any way in the process of selecting the Nobel laureates. In many ways the Nobel Foundation is similar to an investment company in that it invests money in various ways to create a solid funding base for the prize and the administrative activities. The Nobel Foundation is exempt from all taxes in Sweden (since 1946) and from investment taxes in the United States (since 1953). Since the 1980s the Foundation's investments began to earn more money than previously. At the beginning of the 1980s the award money was 1 million SEK but in 2008 the award money had increased to 10 million SEK.

According to the statutes the Foundation should consist of a Board with its seat in Stockholm. It should consist of five men. The Chairman of the board should be appointed by the King in Council. The other four members should be appointed by the trustees of the prize awarding institutions. The Board's first task was to choose an executive Director from among the Board members. A deputy director should be appointed by the King in Council and two deputies for the other members were appointed by the Trustees. However, since 1995 all the members of the board have been chosen by the Trustees and the Execute Director and the deputy Director appointed by the board itself.

Apart from the Board, the Nobel Foundation is made up by the prize-awarding institutions (the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Nobel Assembly, the Swedish Academy and the Norwegian Nobel Committee), the Trustees of the prize-awarding institutions and Auditors.

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Famous quotes containing the words foundation and/or nobel:

    The foundation of empire is art & science. Remove them or degrade them, & the empire is no more. Empire follows art & not vice versa as Englishmen suppose.
    William Blake (1757–1827)

    Parents can fail to cheer your successes as wildly as you expected, pointing out that you are sharing your Nobel Prize with a couple of other people, or that your Oscar was for supporting actress, not really for a starring role. More subtly, they can cheer your successes too wildly, forcing you into the awkward realization that your achievement of merely graduating or getting the promotion did not warrant the fireworks and brass band.
    Frank Pittman (20th century)