We will have fewer Nobel Prizes this year. However, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences continues its work and the scientific Nobel Prizes will be awarded as usual.
The Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize in Literature, decided yesterday that no such prize will be awarded this year. This was a wise decision. It is of the utmost importance for the Nobel Prize that the awarding institutions work efficiently and are trusted by the public. The Swedish Academy is, unfortunately, not in that situation today. It is appropriate that its members now focus on restoring their academy and revising its rules.
Earlier today, the Chairman of the Nobel Foundation, Carl-Henrik Heldin, wrote in a press release that the decision of the Swedish Academy “underscores the seriousness of the situation and will help safeguard the long-term reputation of the Nobel Prize. None of this impacts the awarding of the 2018 Nobel Prizes in other prize categories.”
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is not facing the kind of problems that hurt our sister academy. Our Nobel Committees are continuing their important work to evaluate the candidates for this year’s Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry, as well as for the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Work is proceeding very well, and the shortlists are gradually taking shape. We plan to announce this year’s Nobel Prizes in the sciences in early October, as always.
Göran K. Hansson