Nobel Prize API: Accessing Data on a Laureates

Greg Bates, February 18th, 2013

Nobel PrizeThe Novel Prize API opens the data from the site on Nobel Prize winners to developers. The data consists of who has won the prizes, their affiliation at the time they won the award, and birth data. According to the documentation, the REST API gives responses in JSON or CSV, and no registration for an API key is needed.

An interactive demo of the API is also available. As one might expect, there is an enormous amount of resource material on the site given the range of the prizes. Subject areas are:

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Physiology or Medicine
  • Literature
  • Peace
  • and economics

including educational games, videos of discussions with laureates, lectures given by the winners, photo galleries, a history of Alfred Nobel, whom the prize was named for, and so on. Visitors can even contribute by recommending books written by laureates, as well as getting the list of books recommended by other visitors.

As comprehensive as it is, missing from the site are jokes about the prizes and their winners. My favorite (true story): President Obama (laureate 2009), introducing his Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, noted that the secretary is the recipient of the Nobel Prize. Then, the president added, “There’s a difference. He earned his.”

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