The Rotary Minute is a quick one-minute story that features the work and impact of Rotary in our community and world!

Nobel Prizes & Rotary

Nobel prizes were handed out early last month and Anton Zeilinger, a member of the Rotary Club of Wien-West in Austria, was among three physicists who were announced as the winners of the Nobel Prize in physics on October 4th for their experiments in quantum mechanics. Zeilinger has been a Rotary member since 2001.

It got me wondering about how many Rotarians have won a Nobel Prize, so I Googled it.  And I found something interesting.  Yes there have been a lot of individual Rotarians over the years that have won the Nobel Prize.  But did you know that Rotary itself has won it?

Yep, Rotary’s commitment to eradicating polio worldwide won Best Nonprofit Act in the Hero Awards of the One Billion Acts of Peace campaign, an international global citizens’ movement sponsored by the Nobel Committee to tackle the world’s most important issues. 

The campaign is an initiative of PeaceJam Foundation and is led by 14 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, including the Dalai Lama, and the late Desmond Tutu.
ShelterBox was also nominated for the 2018 and 2019 Nobel Peace Prizes in this category. Although they didn’t win, this is an amazing nomination and reflects the incredible work done by ShelterBox, and is an implicit recognition of the partnership between ShelterBox and Rotary International.  
ShelterBox was founded in 2000 by a Rotary Club in England, with the goal of providing everything a family would need immediately after a disaster, including tents, water filters, solar lights and other life-saving essentials in more than 100 countries. 

These two great organizations combine their efforts to provide disaster aid wherever it may be required across our world.  If you’ll remember, this is the organization that former president Clark Brekke awarded speaker gift donations to during his term of office.

So next time you hear about the Nobel Prize, never underestimate the impact of the support of Rotary International, Rotary Clubs, and individual Rotarians have had on the Nobel Prize over the years! And that includes each of you! And that is today’s Rotary Minute!