Tech UPTechnologyThe only five people who have two Nobel Prizes

The only five people who have two Nobel Prizes

Since their first delivery in 1901, the Nobel Prizes are considered the most prestigious in the world. They are divided into five categories (Physics, Chemistry, Peace, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature) until , in 1969, Economics was also added , which is the last one awarded annually, although it is not recorded as an official Nobel Prize but as a prize . of commemorative economic sciences .

Nobel prizes are awarded to people “who have conferred the greatest benefit on humanity” in the previous 12 months. The quote is part of the will of the Swedish businessman and inventor of dynamite, Alfred Nobel, who left most of his fortune to finance these awards.

The prize winners can be more than one person, but never more than three in each prize. The winners are also called laureates, alluding to the laurel wreath that was given to the winners of competitions in ancient Greece.

Has anyone managed to repeat among this select minority?

There are only five names on this list and the last one was added in 2022. They are:

Marie Curie

The first person in history to achieve the feat of receiving the Nobel Prize twice was the Polish scientist Marie Skłodowska Curie, first awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 and later in Chemistry in 1911. What few people know is who was close to not receiving the first of these awards. In 1903, the French Academy of Sciences proposed only Henri Becquerel and Pierre Curie as candidates for the Nobel Prize in Physics. Outraged to learn of the nomination, the mathematician Gösta Mittag-Leffler advised Pierre, who made his position clear. Finally, “in recognition of the extraordinary services rendered by their joint research on the radiation phenomenon discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel”, Marie Curie was awarded along with her husband and Becquerel. And, “in recognition of his services to the advancement of chemistry by discovering the elements radium and polonium, through the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and components of this amazing element” by the Chemistry Department years later.


Frederick Singer

This biochemist managed to determine the amino acid sequence of a protein, insulin, the key hormone in the regulation of glucose metabolism. This discovery earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1958. His second Nobel Prize would come in 1980 for developing a method to read DNA, opening the doors to the study of the human genome.


Linus Pauling

The one who was one of the first quantum chemists also received two Nobel Prizes: the first, the 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, recognized his research on the nature of chemical bonds. And, eight years later, in 1962 and thanks to his militant pacifism during the Cold War, focused mainly on combating nuclear weapons, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Pauling was scared by the danger that a nuclear war would represent for humanity, for what he wrote called for an end to atomic bomb tests. His campaign culminated in the signing of the first Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963.


John Barden

He twice won the Nobel Prize for Physics. At Princeton University he began to study the atomic structure and properties of semiconductors. Years later he would start working at Bell Labs where, together with Walter Brattain, he developed the transistor, an invention that led him to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1956 together with William B. Shockley. His second Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded in 1972, was for his study of superconductors, materials that conduct current without resistance or loss of energy, the BCS theory.

K. Barry Sharpless

He received his first Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2001 for his work on chiropteran-catalyzed oxidation reactions, which opened a new field in the synthesis of molecules. His second Nobel came in 2022 . K. Barry Sharpless shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Carolyn Bertozzi and Morten Meldal, who worked together to use the technique within living organisms, in what they call “bioorthogonal chemistry.” The scientists were specifically honored “for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry,” the jury said. Sharpless’s is, therefore, the fifth double Nobel Prize in history, following in the footsteps of the eminent scientists we have mentioned.

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