Society: Arts and Science – May 20


The Nobel Prize is bestowed annually in categories as selected by Swedish and Norwegian committees in recognition of cultural or scientific advances. The 1895 will of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel established the prizes.
Frédéric Passy was born on this day in 1822. He was a French economist and a joint winner (together with Henry Dunant) of the first Nobel Peace Prize awarded in 1901.
Philipp Eduard Anton von Lenard died on this date in 1947. He was a German physicist and the winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1905 for his research on cathode rays and the discovery of many of their properties. He was later discraced as an active proponent of the Nazi ideology.
Eduard Buchner was born on this date in 1860. He was a German chemist and zymologist, awarded with the 1907 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on fermentation.
Carl Gustaf Verner von Heidenstam died on this date in 1940. He was a Swedish poet and novelist who became a laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1916. He was a member of the Swedish Academy from 1912. His poems and prose work are filled with a great joy of life, sometimes imbued with a love of Swedish history and scenery, particularly its physical aspects.
Sigrid Undset was born on this date in 1882. She was a Norwegian novelist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928. Undset was born in Kalundborg, Denmark, but her family moved to Norway when she was two years old. In 1924, she converted to Roman Catholicism. She fled Norway for the United States in 1940 because of her opposition to Nazi Germany and the German occupation, but returned after World War II ended in 1945. Her best-known work is Kristin Lavransdatter, a trilogy about life in Scandinavia in the Middle Ages, portrayed through the experiences of a woman from birth until death. Its three volumes were published between 1920 and 1922. Undset’s Nobel Prize was awarded partly for this work, and partly for her four-volume work The Master of Hestviken, published between 1925 and 1927 and dealing with similar themes.