“Nobel Prizes in Medicine as an overview on XX and XXI centuries biomedicine and health sciences: historical and epistemological considerations”.

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Andrea Alberto Conti


Nobel Prize; History of Medicine; Biomedicine; Biology; Epistemology; Health Sciences; Physiology; Methodology.


Nobel Prizes are prestigious world awards attributed for intellectual achievements. There are six prizes awarded each year from a fund bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist Alfred Bernhard Nobel (1833-1896). Each Prize consists of a diploma, a gold medal and a sum of money and it may be attributed to one, two or three different persons. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is regarded as the most relevant scientific acknowledgement in the biomedical area and is annually assigned to the living researcher, or researchers, who has/have more contributed to progress in this field. Nobel Prizes in Medicine so far attributed are 110 with 219 medicine laureates, of whom the youngest was 32 years old and the oldest 87. Twelve women have been awarded the prize and nobody has been awarded it more than once.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is fundamental and its more than secular history certifies this. Generations of distinguished scientists have rightly been awarded it for discoveries, demonstrations and applications of paramount relevance. The geographical distribution and the number of scholars appointed with the Nobel Prize in Medicine, the areas of health sciences and biomedical research related to the awards and the motivations of the annually attributed Nobel Prize in Medicine provide a complete and stimulating historical and epistemological panorama of medicine, biology and health sciences in the course of the XX and XXI centuries.


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