I have good and bad news: There will be no solid Nobel banquet in Stockholm City Hall on December 10 this year. For Alfred Nobel himself, however, this would be very good news. He hated big dinners and festivities, including for the waste it entailed.

We have to go back to the war years 1940-45 to find the last time the banquet was canceled. This despite the fact that the Swedish king Gustav V had a beating heart for the German side of the conflict. The money set aside for the banquet went to the Red Cross' humanitarian work, which was led by the king's nephew,. . .

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