Observers following Wednesday’s announcement of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry had been left dumbfounded — and never simply by quantum dots, the topic of the laureates’ analysis.
What stumped them was how a minimum of two Swedish news retailers had managed to report the names and achievements of the laureates hours earlier than the official announcement.
The two newspapers, Aftonbladet and Dagens Nyheter, stated that they had acquired an emailed news launch containing the data immediately from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the prize. Hans Ellegren, the academy’s secretary basic, described the early transmission of the discharge “completely unexpected” and “very unfortunate.”
“We don’t know what happened,” he stated in a phone interview on Wednesday afternoon, including that the academy was investigating.
Compounding the confusion, the academy stated that it had not even formally met and signed off on the selection of laureates when the Swedish retailers acquired the news launch. Heiner Linke, a member of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry, stated academy members had gathered to finalize the award at 9:30 a.m. native time, about two hours after the retailers acquired the anticipated news.
But when the names had been formally introduced simply earlier than midday, they matched.
Professor Linke declined to explain the awards course of intimately, however he stated that the ultimate assembly on Wednesday morning was not a mere rubber-stamp.
“There’s more than one scenario for how things can play out, depending on the decision made by the academy,” he stated, though he conceded that “it’s a no-brainer that the materials are prepared ahead of time.”
Nobel laureates’ names have slipped out prematurely earlier than. In 2019, the poet Katarina Frostenson, a member of the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize in Literature, left after an investigation discovered that her husband had repeatedly leaked the names of winners.
This 12 months’s chemistry Nobel laureates — Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus and Alexei I. Ekimov — had been chosen for his or her discovery and improvement of quantum dots, utilized in LED lights and tv screens and that may assist information surgeons as they take away most cancers tissue. At least one of many recipients nonetheless described the accolade as surprising.
Dr. Bawendi stated at a news convention after their names had been introduced that he had been “very surprised.”