The 2017 Nobel laureates will be presented with their awards by the King of Sweden during a ceremony in Stockholm on Sunday.
The laureates include three American physicists who were recognised for their contributions to the first observations of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime that were anticipated by Albert Einstein a century ago. Another trio of American scientists won this year’s Nobel prize in physiology or medicine for their discoveries of the biology that underpins circadian rhythms.
Kazuo Ishiguro, author of novels including The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, will collect his medal for the Nobel prize in literature and the American economist Richard Thaler, best known for “nudge” theory, will collect the prize in economics.
Several of the winners of this year’s Nobel science laureates – all white men – addressed the lack of diversity among those being recognised.
Jacques Dubochet, an honorary professor of biophysics at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland who won the chemistry prize, told reporters this week: “Science has been made by males, for males. It is changing, it takes time, but you will see it, they [women in science] are coming.”
Physicist Kip Thorne, of Caltech, highlighted the increase in the number of women entering undergraduate programs in sciences today compared to when he was a student.
“Change is coming, but there is a long delay between entering freshman and the Nobel prize,” he said on Thursday.
Each prize is worth 9m Swedish kronor (£825,000), to be shared between laureates when more than one person is recognised.
Ishiguro used a press conference in Stockholm this week to praise the the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a coalition of international nongovernmental organisations, which won this year’s Nobel peace prize.
The novelist explained that he had “grown up under the the shadow” of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in 1945, in which his mother died.
“I hope that somehow we can continue to live in safety, although our world is becoming increasingly dangerous,” he said.