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Controversial Nobel Prize Winners

Stockholm (October 7, 2017): The Nobel prizes were set up to honour people who make outstanding achievements in Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature and for efforts made toward peace.

However, the recipients of the award have often been the cause of much controversy. Here are the eleven controversial Nobel Prize Winners.Fritz Haber

German chemist Fritz Harber was awarded the Nobel prize for his discoveries in chemistry, specifically ‘synthesising ammonia’, which enabled modern day food growth by way of synthetic fertilizer. Prior to that, Haber was involved in the development of poisonous gasses, which went on to kill millions of people in World War 1, used by the Nazis. His wife killed herself merely 10 days after the first instance of chemical warfare.
Otto Hahn

Otto Hahn was a German chemist and pioneer in the fields of radioactivity and radiochemistry. He was exclusively awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1944 for the discovery and the radiochemical proof of nuclear fission. He is referred to as the father of nuclear chemistry. His research was used in nuclear bomb. US dropped the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and killed thousands of innocent people.Paul Hermann Muller

Paul Hermann also known was a Swiss chemist who received the 1948 Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine for his 1939 discovery of insecticidal qualities and use of DDT in the control of vector diseases such as malaria and yellow fever. Environmental organizations criticized Muller and declared DDT harmful for humans and wildlife.   Carl von Ossietzky

Carl von Ossietzky was awarded the 1935 Peace Prize for a series of articles exposing Germany’s continued breach of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I.

Two members of the Noble committee had resigned over the decision.  Hitler not only stopped him from attending the ceremony in Oslo but also passed a new law that prohibited German citizens from accepting Nobel Prizes.
Henry A Kissinger

The former US secretary of state was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 which was to be shared with Vietnames leader Le Duc Tho for their efforts in bringing peace. The latter rejected the award as he did not feel peace had been achieved and did not want to share the award with Kissinger.

The award was also controversial because Kissinger was accused of playing a role in America’s secret bombing of Cambodia in 1969 and 1975.Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman was an American economist who received the 1976 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and the complexity of stabilization policy.

Hundreds of demonstrators protested in Stockholm when influential economist Milton Friedman collected his award — one of the most controversial prizes in the economics category.

Friedman was a proponent of free markets who saw the government’s main role as to stabilize the supply of money. His views were controversial among those who believed the government should play a bigger role in the economy.
Rigoberta Menchu

A Guatemalan activist and indigenous leader got the award in 1992 for her book ‘I, Rigoberta Menchu’ -in which it was later revealed – she had altered truths about her life.Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama had been in office less than a year when the peace prize committee decided to give him the prestigious award in 2009.

The decision sparked criticism and ridicule — critics joked that he won the award for not being George W. Bush, his predecessor who was deeply unpopular in much of Europe.

The Nobel judges argued that Obama had already accomplished a lot, listing his emphasis on international diplomacy and nuclear disarmament.

Ralph Steinman

The medicine prize to Jules Hoffman, Bruce Beutler and Ralph Steinman would have been uncontroversial except for one thing: Steinman had died just days before the award was announced.

Under Nobel statutes, the prizes cannot be given posthumously. If a laureate dies after the announcement but before the awards are physically handed out at the annual Dec. 10 prize ceremony, the award stands. But this was a different situation: The committee wasn’t aware that Steinman, a scientist at New York’s Rockefeller University, had died prior to the announcement.

After an emergency meeting Nobel officials decided to make an exception, saying “The Nobel Prize to Ralph Steinman was made in good faith, based on the assumption that the Nobel laureate was alive.” Steinman’s wife collected the award at the ceremony in 2011

Mahatma Gandhi

The fact that Mahatma Gandhi never got the Nobel Peace Prize is considered one of the great blunders in the history of the Nobel Prizes.

Gandhi was nominated five times but never won. The Nobel committee later admitted that this was an omission, and in 1989 the chairman of the Nobel committee paid tribute to Gandhi as he presented that year’s award to the Dalai Lama.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights but her silence and support to Myanmar government over its alleged “ethnic cleansing” drive in which the Buddhist government had killed thousands of Rohingya Muslim, proved that the Noble committee had made a mistake while selecting Kyi.

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