SITE VISIT: Winning Nobel Sites

Science  02 Oct 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5386, pp. 7
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5386.7d

Along with crisp air and fall colors, October brings a tingle of anticipation as the Nobel Foundation in Sweden gets ready to announce the year's prizewinners. For the straight scoop on the Nobel prizes—awarded in chemistry, physics, physiology or medicine, peace, and literature—check out the foundation's official site (http://www.nobel.se/). Here you can browse a database of laureates, learn how much the award's value has climbed since 1901 (50-fold, to 7,600,000 Swedish krona, or $962,920, in 1998), see reports from the awards ceremony this December, or bone up on Alfred Nobel, the explosives inventor and industrialist who established the prizes. The site, which also covers the related economics prize, is metamorphosing into the Electronic Nobel Museum, a huge hypermedia archive set for completion in 2001.

Those who can't wait for a multimedia experience should surf over to the new Nobel Channel, set up by Samsung Electronics (nobelchannel.com). Provided you've loaded your plug-ins and have ample memory, you can see film footage of laureates discussing their prizes or a video animation about the 1988 winners' discovery of the muon neutrino, among many snazzy features. Finally, for a grassroots look, try the Nobel Prize Internet Archive, run by a couple of Massachusetts Institute of Technology grads-turned-Internet entrepreneurs (nobelprizes.com). Besides basic info on Nobelists, there's a gossip board, a link to the spoof Ig Nobel prizes, and a form for adding your own links. Or take a trivia quiz with questions such as, Which secondary school has had the most Nobel laureates? Hint: It's in the northeastern United States.

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