Nobels are Pouring Across the Border


The U.S. has seven Nobel prize winners this year, and all but one are immigrants. (Minnesotan Bob Dylan is, not for the first time, a spoiler.) (Wall Street Journal)

Use our study guide to learn more about the Nobels—and some ignoble recipients.

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit.

Discussion Ideas

  • Almost all the U.S. Nobel laureates this year are immigrants. So, what’s an immigrant?
    • An immigrant is simply a person who moves to a new country or region.
      • FYI: An emigrant is a person who moves from their existing country or region to a new country or region. All emigrants are immigrants, and immigrants are emigrants—it’s just a matter of the geographic perspective: whether you’re emphasizing where the person is going to (immigrant) or where they’re coming from (emigrant).



  • What is a Nobel Prize?
    • Nobel Prizes are awarded every year by different Swedish and Norwegian committees. Nobel Prizes are considered the most prestigious professional honors in all categories in which they are awarded.
    • Nobel Prizes are awarded in chemistry, physics, medicine, literature, and peace. The related Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics was established in 1968.
    • The awards are named after Alfred Nobel, the millionaire Swedish inventor perhaps most famous for his patent on dynamite. Nobel outlined the basic structure of the prizes in his will, and the first prizes were awarded in 1901.
    • Both Swedish and Norwegian committees participate in the annual awards, because at the time of Alfred Nobel’s death, the two kingdoms were part of a “personal union”—meaning they were basically discrete states but shared the same monarch.




Wall Street Journal: Nobels Pouring Across the Border

Nat Geo: Nobel Laureates We’d Like to Forget

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