Just How Exactly Does the Nobel Peace Prize Work? TED Has the Answer

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  • TED-Ed, the educational branch of TED, uploaded a video this week that’s incredibly interesting — even for them. It focuses on the Nobel Peace Prize — this year’s was just awarded to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos — and is an interesting look at one of the better prizes given to humanity. We haven’t covered TED since Will Stephen’s hilarious TED Talk about sounding smart, so it feels good to bring some education to the What’s Trending audience for a change.

    The video teaches viewers how the prize came about and how it is awarded. For instance, did you know that the Quakers and members of the Swedish Parliament nominated Martin Luther King, Jr.? Only government houses, universities, and previous winners may nominate people for the award. People aren’t the only ones who can win, as organizations may also win; 23 have done so.

    Alfred Nobel, the chemist who the award is named after, died alone. He also died wealthy, having invented dynamite in 1866. He also invented 355 patents and had 92 factories in more than 20 countries. In his will, he set up an organization with his money. The organization was to give awards in Chemistry, Physics, Medicine, Literature, and Peace. It showed Nobel’s dedication to the sciences, and his love of literature.

    However, the Peace part has always been a bit mysterious. There are those who say he did it out of regret. But there’s evidence he did it out of friendship for a pacifist, Bertha Van Suttner, the first woman to win the award. There were originally three criteria for the Peace prize – disarmament, peace congresses, and brotherhood between nations. The award is also given in Norway, while the rest of the Nobels are handed out in Sweden.

    What do you think? Who do you want to win the Nobel Prize? Let us know in the comments or @WhatsTrending on Twitter.