Chemistry World goes behind closed doors to find out how the Nobel committee make their selection. Our guide on this voyage of discovery is Bengt Norden, chair professor of physical chemistry of Chalmers University of Technology. Norden was a member of the Nobel committee for chemistry – the body responsible for recommending potential laureates – from 1995 to 2004, and counts a great number of Nobel laureates amongst his personal friends. 

Awards to the many

‘One person is ideal … you make somebody an icon’

According to the rules, the Nobel prize should only be awarded to a maximum of three people. The peace prize has twisted this rule. Will we soon see the other prizes follow suit?