The annual Nobel Weekends on October 9th, as the winner of the Peace Prize falls to the World Food Programme.
However, CNN on the 10th focused on a phenomenon: Although the 2020 Nobel Prize winners (nine scholars and an international organization) have four women, but not one African-American won the prize.
The article points out that since the award was established in 1901, a total of 931 people and 28 institutions have received the award. But there are few African-American Nobel laureates, with only 16. Of these, 12 received the Peace Prize, 3 won the Literary Prize and 1 won the Economics Prize.
In response, CNN criticized the internationally prestigious Nobel Prize for its “lack of diversity.”
CNN reported that while the number of female science winners may be slowly increasing. But on the racial front, the issue of diversity is even worse – none of the 2020 Nobel laureates are black.
“The economy, school education, prejudice, and so on are the root causes of the problem,” Marc Zimmer, a chemistry professor at Connecticut College, told CNN. It all started in elementary school. But I don’t think the lack of racial diversity is a problem for the Nobel Prize, it’s a problem for the social system. ”
CNN, on the other hand, also pointed out the problem of “English hegemony” in the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Prize, wrote in his will that he “clearly wanted to give the award without regard to a nationality”. However, the vast majority of literary prize winners write in English.
“I think what matters is who has the power to nominate and who controls everything.” Patricia Matthew, an associate professor of English at Montclair State University, says one reason for the lack of diversity is that nominees “don’t understand or appreciate the influence of African-American works”.
The issue is not confined to the nomination of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
In 2019, Goran K. Hansson, president of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, published a commentary in the journal Nature, referring to the “unfair distribution” of the Nobel Prize. Because science is being dominated by Western Europe and North America. He also cites nature as an example, noting that less than 15 percent of its senior authors are women. Only 2% of the authors are from Africa, South America, or West Asia.
“I think that as a global award, (the Nobel Prize) should reflect the global culture and read and encourage the work of those who write in other languages,” said Matthew, an associate professor mentioned above. These people are describing the global situation in different ways. “