Nobel Committee Could Award Posthumous Prize After Scientist Dies Three Days Before The Announcement

Steinman

Photo: Rockefeller University

Three scientists won the Nobel Prize in Medicine Monay for their breakthrough work on the human immune system.It was announced that Ralph Steinman, Bruce Beutler, and Jules Hoffman will share the prize, but unknown to the Nobel Committee Ralph Steiman died of pancreatic cancer three days before on Friday September 30.

According to The Seattle Times, the committee was unaware Steinman was dead when they made the announcement and are looking into their regulations on how to proceed.

Dag Hammarskj√∂ld was the last person to receive a posthumous Peace Prize in 1961 and it was believed he would be the last. Nobel Foundation regulations passed in 1974 stipulate that a Prize can only be awarded posthumously if the death occurred after the Nobel Committee’s announcement.

This stipulation could come into question as three days appear to have elapsed from the time of Steinman’s death until the announcement was made.

Steinman was slated to share the $1.5 million dollar prize with Beutler and Hoffman.

This is a breaking story and updates will follow.

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