October 8, 2012 - 11:02 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - This year’s Nobel Prize season kicks off Monday, Oct 8, with rumors suggesting the Peace Prize could go to Egypt’s Maggie Gobran for helping Cairo’s poor, Afghan burqa opponent Sima Samar or American scholar Gene Sharp, AFP reports.
The first Nobel this year will be the medicine prize on Monday when the jury in Stockholm reveals the winner around 11.30 am local time (3 pm IST). But like every year, most of the speculation focuses on who will take home the prestigious peace and literature prizes.
Betting sites have become popular in recent years, with gamers sometimes curiously accurate amid suspicions of leaks from within the award committees.
This year, Coptic Christian Gobran, dubbed the “Mother Teresa” of Cairo’s slums, tops the list of one betting site for the peace prize, with 6.5-to-one odds ahead of the October 12 announcement. But the race looks wide open, with no clear frontrunner among 231 nominees.
The peace prize committee never reveals the nominees’ list, but former United States President Bill Clinton, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the European Union and WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning are known to be on it.
The head of Oslo’s Peace Research Institute, Kristian Berg Harpviken, publishes his own shortlist of possible winners each year. His list includes Sharp, a U.S. political theorist and non-violence expert; Russian rights group Memorial and its founder Svetlana Gannushkina; and independent Russian media outlet Echo of Moscow and its chief editor Alexei Venediktov.
For the literature prize, Chinese author Mo Yan and Japan’s Haruki Murakami share the top two spots on one betting site. Literature experts in Stockholm say it may be time to pick a woman or a North American. Names whispered in literary circles include Canadian short story writer Alice Munro — though a short story writer has never picked — as well as U.S. author Don DeLillo and Somali novelist Nuruddin Farah.
In line with tradition, unlike the other prizes, the date of the literature prize announcement is revealed only a few days before. But it is traditionally announced on a Thursday, and could therefore come on October 11.
The physics prize, to be announced Tuesday, has also created some buzz this year. The discovery in July of a new fundamental particle believed to be the Higgs-Boson is one of the biggest breakthroughs in the field of physics in the past half-century, and is widely considered Nobel Prize-worthy research.
The chemistry prize will be announced Wednesday, while the economics prize is the last to be announced, on October 15.