Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1973
Born: 15 April 1907, the Hague, the Netherlands
Died: 21 December 1988, Oxford, United Kingdom
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
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. Nikolaas Tinbergen used dummies in his experiments. One of his discoveries at the end of the 1930s was that birds preferred to brood eggs with exaggerated markings in the form of size, spots and color.
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.