Highlight of the Nobel season, the prize will be announced at 11 a.m. (0900 GMT) in Oslo against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which plunged Europe into one of the most serious crises since the Second World War.
Of the applications, we only know the number, no names: 343 this year, or 251 individuals and 92 organizations.
As always, the “Nobelologists” are therefore reduced to simple conjectures.
The war in Ukraine and its ravages have dominated international news since the beginning of the year, and some believe that the Nobel committee can hardly have ignored it.
“It is likely that we will have a prize that one way or another will point in the direction of Ukraine,” the director of the Oslo Peace Research Institute, Henrik Urdal, said on Thursday. , at the microphone of the NRK radio.
Would thus be eligible in his eyes the Belarusian opponents Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa and Russian Alexeï Navalny, itchy hairs of the Kremlin and one of its very few allies in the conflict.
Either the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, which in March ordered an immediate halt to the Russian offensive, or even the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) insofar as the hostilities moved millions of people.
Also mentioned are actors who document alleged war crimes such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), which also has its headquarters in The Hague, or the Bellingcat investigation site.
The chances of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is favored by bookmakers, are on the other hand considered to be less as long as the veil of war has not yet been lifted.
Other Nobel observers lean towards a prize going to the climate cause, an area where all the indicators are red.
Evoked as a Nobel candidate for several years despite her young age (19), the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg could thus win with, perhaps, her “Fridays for future” movement, the British naturalist and journalist David Attenborough or other activists.
– ‘Tense world’ –
The five members of the Nobel committee may also have focused on a completely different theme or may have decided not to award the prize as they have done 19 times in the past, the last time just 50 years ago. .
According to the weak signals sent by the president of the committee, a choice seems however to have been made on one or more winners (they can be up to three).
The decision was “perhaps even more difficult” this year, Berit Reiss-Andersen told NRK, judging that “we live in a difficult security situation and a tense world”.
The Peace Prize crowned two champions of freedom of the press and information last year, Filipino journalist Maria Ressa and her Russian colleague Dmitry Muratov.
It is the only Nobel to be awarded in Oslo, the other disciplines being awarded in Stockholm.
On Monday, the Nobel Prize for Medicine opened the ball by crowning the Swede Svante Pääbo, father of Denisova’s man and discoverer of the DNA of Neanderthal man.
That of physics rewarded Tuesday the Frenchman Alain Aspect, the Austrian Anton Zeilinger and the American John Clauser for their discoveries on the revolutionary mechanism of “quantum entanglement”, proving wrong on this improbable phenomenon of quantum mechanics to Albert Einstein himself.
On Wednesday, it was a trio, the Americans Carolyn Bertozzi and Barry Sharpless together with the Dane Morten Meldal, who had been crowned in chemistry for “the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry”.
And Thursday, Annie Ernaux, author in particular of “Empty cabinets” and “The years”, became the first Frenchwoman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, after 15 men.
The Nobel season will end next Monday with the economics prize, added in 1969 to the five traditional prizes provided for in Alfred Nobel’s will.