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Richard Thaler wins 2017 Nobel economics prize

Richard Thaler has won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, rounding off this year's Nobel awards. Although not one of Alfred Nobel's original awards, it is widely seen as equal in honor. The 2017 Nobel Prize in economics has been awarded to Richard H. Thaler, an American academic at the University of Chicago known for his work in behavioral economics. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the award on Monday morning, saying that 72-year-old Thaler had won the prize for his pioneering work at the interface between economics and human psychology. "His empirical findings and theoretical insights have been instrumental in creating the new and rapidly expanding field of behavioural economics, which has had a profound impact on many areas of economic research and policy," it said in a statement. Read more: The Nobel Prizes - what you need to know The prize, formally known as the Severiges Riksbank (Bank of Sweden) Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, is not one of the original prizes mentioned in the will of Nobel (1833-96), the Swedish inventor of dynamite who instigated a series of awards in medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace. Instead, the economics prize — worth 9 million kronor (€945,300, $1.1 million) like the other Nobel awards — was founded by the Bank of Sweden on its tercentenary in 1968 and first awarded in 1969. Behavioral economics pioneer Thaler is seen as being at the vanguard of the field of behavioral economics, a once fringe field of research which has developed into a major component of modern economics studies. "Richard H. Thaler has incorporated psychologically realistic assumptions into analyses of economic decision-making," the official dedication declared. "By exploring the consequences of limited rationality, social preferences, and lack of self-control, he has shown how these human traits systematically affect individual decisions as well as market outcomes." A native of New Jersey, Thaler is a career economist currently serving as the Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He made a brief cameo in 2015 film The Big Short, which dealt with the factors that led to the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Contested validity The prize is seen by many as a high watermark of achievement in economic research, but some critics have contested its validity, maintaining that it honors a science undeserving of the name. Even one well-known recipient of the prize, Friedrich Hayek, has voiced reservations, saying that the award could risk giving a handful of economists a dangerous amount of influence. However, it is broadly considered as being equal to the other Nobel awards, and its winner also attends the presentation ceremony. Only one woman, Elinor Ostrom of the United States, has won the economics prize to date. Last year, it went to British-born economist Oliver Hart and Finnish economist Bengt Holmstrom for their work on contracts. The Nobel awards are scheduled to be presented in Stockholm, Sweden on October 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.

Richard Thaler has won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, rounding off this year’s Nobel awards. Although not one of Alfred Nobel’s original awards, it is widely seen as equal in honor. The 2017 Nobel Prize in economics has been awarded to Richard H. Thaler, an American academic at the University of Chicago known for his work in behavioral ... Read More »

Nobel Prize in Physics awarded for gravitational wave discovery to Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne

Three US astrophysicists have been awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for their first observation of universal gravitational waves. Albert Einstein first predicted the existence of the waves more than a century ago. Sweden's Royal Academy of Sciences announced on Tuesday that it had awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics to three US astrophysicists for their discovery of gravitational waves. The discovery by Barry Barish, Kip Thorne and Rainer Weiss, Goran K. Hansson, head of the Academy said, "shook the world." The group was awarded the prestigious prize for their contribution to the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) research project. Weiss won half the prize, with Barish and Thorne sharing the other half. Predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago as part of his theory of gravitational relativity, the waves were only first detected in 2015. The scientists "who brought the project to completion, ensured that four decades of effort led to gravitational waves finally being observed," the Academy added in a press statement. Speaking to the Academy minutes after learning of this Nobel win, researcher Rainer Weiss said "it's really wonderful." Overjoyed by receiving the call that he had jointly won the Nobel Prize in Physics, Barish said Tuesday's announcement was "a win for Einstein, and a very big one." The prize, established by the Swedish inventor of dynamite, Alfred Nobel, in 1895, is worth 9 million kronor (€938,949, $1.1 million). In 2016, the prize went to three British-born researchers - David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz for their work in applying topology to the workings of exotic matter such as superconductors and superfluids. The prize has been shared among multiple winners for the past 25 years. On Monday, the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to American trio Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young for their work on circadian rhythms, often called body clocks. Wednesday is to see the announcement of the winner(s) of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, with the literature prize winner(s) to be announced on Thursday and the much-awaited peace prize winner(s) on Friday.

Three US astrophysicists have been awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for their first observation of universal gravitational waves. Albert Einstein first predicted the existence of the waves more than a century ago. Sweden’s Royal Academy of Sciences announced on Tuesday that it had awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics to three US astrophysicists for their discovery of ... Read More »

Swedish Academy member describes Bob Dylan’s Nobel silence as ‘impolite and arrogant’

Bob Dylan's silence since being named a Nobel laureate has been described as "impolite and arrogant" by a member of the Swedish Academy. But the committee said it was up to the singer if he decided to accept. The Swedish Academy, which selects Nobel Prize winners, has failed to contact 75-year-old singer-songwriter Bob Dylan since he became the first musician to win the literature prize in the Nobel's 115-year history last week. Dylan has been silent on the subject since he was awarded the honor for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." The award has been mentioned on Dylan's Twitter and Facebook accounts, but a mention was removed from his website on Friday. On Saturday, Swedish media reported comments by Nobel committee member Per Wastberg, who said that if Dylan remained silent, it would be "rude and arrogant." The academy issued a statement saying that Wastberg's comments did not reflect their view. "The author awarded the Noble Prize makes up his or her own mind regarding the ceremonies involved in the presentation of the prize," said Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the academy. The choice of Dylan has been controversial, with some commentators questioning whether the singer's work qualifies as literature and others suggesting the academy missed an opportunity to bring attention to lesser-known artists. First to ignore If Dylan continues in silence, he would be the first award winner to ignore the academy's decision. Only two people have declined a Nobel Prize in literature. Boris Pasternak did so under pressure from Soviet authorities in 1958, while French writer Jean-Paul Sartre refused it in 1964. Harold Pinter and Alice Munro missed their respective ceremonies in 2005 and 2013 for health reasons. Each Nobel Prize is worth 8 million Swedish kronor ($930,000/825,000 euros). The literature prize and five other Nobel honors will be officially conferred in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of award founder Alfred Nobel's death in 1896.

Bob Dylan’s silence since being named a Nobel laureate has been described as “impolite and arrogant” by a member of the Swedish Academy. But the committee said it was up to the singer if he decided to accept. The Swedish Academy, which selects Nobel Prize winners, has failed to contact 75-year-old singer-songwriter Bob Dylan since he became the first musician ... Read More »

Günter Grass leaves a last farewell book

Just before he died earlier this year, Nobel Prize-winning author Günter Grass completed his last book, "Vonne Endlichkait." It will be published this week in German. "Günter Grass left us a moving farewell," said his publisher Gerhard Steidl at the presentation of the book "Vonne Endlichkait," to be published in German on Friday (28.08.2015). An English version should be availble in the fall of 2016. The title is in East Prussian dialect and means "About Finitude." Grass explored themes such as aging, loss, and the end of life, adding his own "subtle form of humor" to his reflections, which are at times "hilarious," said Steidl. "The book is a literary experiment," added the publisher. It combines a series of short prose texts, each accompanied by a poem and a pencil drawing by the author. Although it is made up of many short elements, a very clear narrative arc emerges from the work, said the editor, Dieter Stolz. Steidl does not believe any other hidden manuscript from the author will turn up, but a publication of some of his diaries is planned, especially those focusing on his political observations. Günter Grass, who won the Nobel Prize in 1999, is considered one of the most important German authors. Most famous for his 1959 post-war novel "The Tin Drum," he wrote over 70 works translated into 40 languages. Grass died this year on April 13 at the age of 87.

Just before he died earlier this year, Nobel Prize-winning author Günter Grass completed his last book, “Vonne Endlichkait.” It will be published this week in German. “Günter Grass left us a moving farewell,” said his publisher Gerhard Steidl at the presentation of the book “Vonne Endlichkait,” to be published in German on Friday (28.08.2015). An English version should be availble ... Read More »

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