Karl von Frisch
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1973
Born: 20 November 1886, Vienna, Austria
Died: 12 June 1982, Munich, West Germany (now Germany)
Affiliation at the time of the award: Zoologisches Institut der Universität München, Munich, Federal Republic of Germany
Prize motivation: "for their discoveries concerning organization and elicitation of individual and social behaviour patterns."
Prize share: 1/3
Some animal and human patterns of behavior are innate. Examples of such behavioral patterns in animals can be seen in how they convey information to one another, how they behave when mating and how they care for their young. Karl von Frisch, Konrad Lorenz and Nikolaas Tinbergen made pioneering contributions within ethnology by studying animal behavior. At the end of the 1920s, Karl von Frisch pointed out that when bees find nectar in a flower, they fly in a special pattern and perform a kind of dance that shows other bees in the vicinity where to find the nectar.
Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.