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Lists of Nobel Prizes and Laureates
Lists of Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Magic Call

Minutes just before the announcement, the Nobel Prize awarding institution calls the Nobel Laureates to inform them that they have been awarded the Nobel Prize. These calls can come at unexpected times and reach Nobel Laureates in unexpected places. Here are some recollections of those special moments when the "magic call" came through.


Up in the Air

Richard Ernst


Richard Ernst was on a flight from Moscow when he was informed by the captain that he had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
See the video


Out Shopping

Reinhard Selten


Reinhard Selten was with his wife shopping and nobody was around to answer the call.
See the video


At the Dentist

Günter Grass


Günter Grass was due at the dentist when the call came through from Stockholm.
See the video


At the Pub

Barry Marshall


"Well, Robin and I often have a beer down by the riverside at this time of year." Barry Marshall got the call in an Australian pub.
Read or listen to the interview


He Needed a Cup of Coffee

Amartya Sen


Amartya Sen heard the phone ringing at 5 a.m. and thought something tragic had happened.
See the video


At a Meeting

César Milstein


César Milstein was in the middle of a meeting when the call came through.
See the video


At a Country House in Provence

Ivan Bunin


Ivan Bunin received the phone call in "a poor country house in an old Provencal town."
Read the speech


At Home

James M. Buchanan


James M. Buchanan was planning to spend time with his wife at their country place, when the telephone call from Stockholm came.
Read the article


Say That Again?

Louis J. Ignarro


When Louis J. Ignarro was told that he had been awarded the Nobel Prize he was left wondering whether he had heard correctly!
See the video


You Must Be Joking!

William F. Sharpe


William F. Sharpe thought it was a joke when the phone call came.
See the video


He Needed Some Proof

James A. Mirrlees


James A. Mirrlees asked politely for some proof when he received the call.
See the video


In Pitch Blackness

Roy J. Glauber


"Things are going to get even more confused before they get better," Roy J. Glauber commented in a telephone interview. He received the call at 5:36 a.m.
Read or listen to the interview


A Black Hole in Her Head

Elfriede Jelinek


Elfriede Jelinek remembers the day when the call came from the Swedish Academy in Stockholm.
Read the interview

 

First published 12 September 2016

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MLA style: "The Magic Call". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 12 Dec 2017. <http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/themes/other/magic-call/index.html>

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