STOCKHOLM — Swedish media say the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences may have announced the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry prematurely.
Public broadcaster SVT said the academy sent a press release by mistake early Wednesday that contained the names of the winners.
The press release said the prize went to three U.S.-based scientists for the “discovery and synthesis of quantum dots,” according to SVT.
The Associated Press did not receive the press release.
“Unfortunately, I cannot comment on what has been published yet. What is important to know is that the Academy of Sciences has not yet met and there is no decision on who will be awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry,” Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences spokeswoman Eva Nevelius said in an email.
Heiner Linke, an expert on the Nobel committee for chemistry, told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter that no decision had been made Wednesday morning and that if a press release had gone out it would “definitely” have been a mistake.
The prize is set to be announced at 11:45 a.m. in Sweden (0945 GMT).
On Tuesday, the physics prize went to French-Swedish physicist Anne L’Huillier, French scientist Pierre Agostini and Hungarian-born Ferenc Krausz for producing the first split-second glimpse into the superfast world of spinning electrons.
The tiny part of each atom races around the center and is fundamental to virtually everything: chemistry, physics, our bodies and our gadgets.
On Monday, Hungarian-American Katalin Karikó and American Drew Weissman won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries that enabled the creation of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.
Last year, Americans Carolyn R. Bertozzi and K. Barry Sharpless, and Danish scientist Morten Meldal were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing a way of “ snapping molecules together” that can be used to explore cells, map DNA and design drugs that can target diseases such as cancer more precisely.
The chemistry prize means Nobel season has reached its halfway stage. The prizes in literature, peace and economics follow, with one announcement every weekday until Oct. 9.
The Nobel Foundation raised the prize money by 10% this year to 11 million kronor (about $1 million). In addition to the money, winners receive an 18-carat gold medal and diploma when they collect their Nobel Prizes at the award ceremonies in December.
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