1999 Nobel Prize Winners

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff
  • Peace: Doctors Without Borders, a French-based global organization. Since 1971 it has provided emergency medical assistance to populations plagued by violence and brutality in more than 80 countries. Said the Nobel Committee, “Each fearless and self-sacrificing helper shows each victim a human face, stands for respect for that person's dignity and is a source of hope for peace and reconciliation.”
  • Literature: Günter Grass (Germany), “whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history.” Grass, whose novel The Tin Drum (1961) brought him world renown, writes fiercely and eloquently about the anguish of war and reunification in his native Germany.
  • Physics: Gerardus 't Hooft (Netherlands) and Martinus J. G. Veltman (Netherlands). According to the Academy, the two researchers have “placed particle physics theory on a firmer mathematical foundation.” The researchers' theory links electromagnetic and “weak” interactions—the process which produces nearly all of the sun's energy.
  • Chemistry: Ahmed H. Zewail (Egypt and U.S.) who has created the world's fastest camera, which captures atoms in motion much as a slow-motion replay captures a sporting event. The academy stated that his contributions “have brought about a revolution in chemistry and adjacent sciences.”
  • Medicine: Dr. Günter Blobel (Germany and U.S.), who was honored by the Academy “for the discovery that proteins have intrinsic signals that govern their transport and localization in the cell.”
  • Economics: Robert A. Mundel (U.S.), a Columbia University economist, for his work on monetary dynamics and optimum currency areas. The Academy stated Mundel “has established the foundation for the theory that dominates practical policy considerations of monetary and fiscal policy in open economies.”

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