Being awarded the Nobel Prize is perhaps one of the world’s biggest achievements. The Nobel Prize is an award to recognise significant contribution in the following areas: physics, medicine, chemistry, literature and peace. The Nobel Foundation was founded as a private organization in 1900. Its purpose is to manage the administration of the Nobel Prizes, with the first award granted in 1901.
This foundation was established by Alfred Nobel who wanted to reward those who serve humanity. Alfred himself was a Swedish chemist, engineer, and industrialist. He is most famously known for the invention of dynamite. He died in 1896. In his will, he left his remaining assets to establish five prizes which are known as the Nobel Prizes.
Nobel prizes are given to organizations and people who have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Between 1901 and 2020, the Nobel Prizes were awarded 603 times which include 934 Laureates and 28 organizations. Of them, 110 have been awarded to various affiliates of the University of Cambridge. Cambridge University has received more Nobel Prizes than those of any other institution.
This University is one of the most prestigious institutions around the world and will continue to support students to become Nobel laureates.
Curiosities about Cambridge Nobel Prizes’
Since 1904, the University of Cambridge has collected 110 Nobel Prizes from all categories: a total of 34 in physics, 27 in medicine, 25 in chemistry, 11 in economics, 3 in literature and 2 in peace.
There were a total of four laureates who have been awarded the Nobel Prize twice.
Trinity College is, by far, the college with the most number of Nobel Laureates, with a total of 34.
The first woman of Cambridge to be awarded a Nobel Prize was Dorothy Hodgkin, in 1964, in Chemistry. Awarded for her work on the structure of compounds that could be used to fight anaemia.
Importance of Cambridge around the world
Cambridge University has been awarded the Nobel Prize for various discoveries including, the dual helix structure of DNA, the development of a national income accounting system, the mastery of an epic and narrative psychological art and the discovery of penicillin.
Within the list of Cambridge Nobel Prize winners include the likes of: Ernest Rutherford, JJ Thomson, Francis Crick, James Watson and Robert Edwards. As you can see Cambridge has indeed earned its reputation for being one of the leading institutions around the world and its relevance to history.
The most recent Cambridge Nobel Laureates
- Professor Sir Roger Penrose (St John’s College, 1952, and honorary fellow) – Awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics – discovery that the black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity.
- Professor Didier Queloz (Trinity College) – Awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics with Michel Mayor from the University of Geneva – discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.
- Sir Peter Ratcliffe (Gonville & Caius, 1972) – Jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine – discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.
- Gregory Winter (Trinity College alumnus and Master), MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology – Awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry with George P Smith from the University of Missouri, USA – for the phage display of peptides and antibodies.
- Richard Henderson (Corpus Christi College and Darwin College) and Joachim Frank, former Cavendish senior research associate – Awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry, with Jacques Dubochet from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland – developing an cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution.
Who will be the next Cambridge Nobel Laureate?