Nobel laureates receive prizes in Stockholm

Nobel physics laureate Takaaki Kajita poses with his medal next to his wife Michiko (left) and daughter.
Nobel physics laureate Takaaki Kajita poses with his medal next to his wife Michiko (left) and daughter.PHOTO: AFP

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Dressed to the nines in tails and long gowns, the 2015 Nobel laureates in medicine, literature, economics, physics and chemistry received their prizes at a glittering ceremony in Stockholm on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the Nobel Peace Prize was presented to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet at a separate ceremony in Oslo.

In Stockholm, the 10 laureates received their Nobel diplomas and gold medals from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf, in a ceremony interspersed with classical music and presentations by the prize-awarding institutions.

The ceremony took place in front of 1,600 specially-invited guests at Stockholm's Concert Hall, decked out for the occasion with 20,000 white, yellow and orange flowers donated, as every year, by the Italian city of San Remo, where Swedish scientist and prize creator Alfred Nobel died on Dec 10, 1896.

China's Tu Youyou, William Campbell of the US and Satoshi Omura of Japan received the medicine prize for unlocking revolutionary treatments for malaria and roundworm, helping to roll back two parasitic diseases that blight millions of lives.

Takaaki Kajita of Japan and Arthur McDonald of Canada were awarded the physics prize for determining that neutrinos have mass, a key piece of the puzzle in understanding the cosmos.

The chemistry prize was presented to Sweden's Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich of the US and Aziz Sancar, a Turkish-American, for work on how cells repair damaged DNA.

Belarussian writer and dissident Svetlana Alexievich was given the literature prize for her work chronicling the horrors of war and life under the repressive Soviet regime.

Finally, poverty expert Angus Deaton, a US-British microeconomist, took home the economics prize for groundbreaking work using household surveys to show how consumers, particularly the poor, decide what to buy and how policymakers can help them.

Later on Thursday, the laureates were to attend a gala banquet at Stockholm's City Hall attended by 1,300 people.