News Release

Nobel Harnesses the Internet to Connect Scientists and Students to a Century's Worth of Nobel History

From the voices of the Nobel Peace Laureates to a virtual science laboratory; Nobel illustrates the potential of the Internet as learning tool
Oct 09, 2001

As the Nobel prizes - first awarded in 1901 - enter their centennial celebrations, the Nobel Foundation has leveraged the Internet to bring the accomplishments of the Nobel laureates to students around the world. The Nobel website, founded in 1995, has been upgraded into a virtual museum of science and culture, the Nobel e-Museum (NeM).

By adding new, interactive content to digital archives covering 100 years of scientific and cultural development, Nobel is using the Internet as a resource and medium for learning. The content ranges from games and animation, virtual laboratories, lectures and demonstrations to portraits using text, image, video and audio. The number of hits to Nobel's site from schools and colleges worldwide has increased dramatically and this program has been initiated to make NeM more useful and accessible to students.

Users can visit a virtual laboratory to practice experimental techniques such as protein sequencing with the help of 'Virtual Eva' the lab technician. They can click on radios to listen to recordings of Literature and Peace Prize winners and can test their understanding of the symbolism and messaging in Laureate William Golding's book 'Lord of the Flies' by clicking on a virtual re-creation of the island on which Ralph, Piggy and the other boys were stranded. Tools for exploring atoms, nuclei, elementary particles, quantum phenomena and relativity have been re-created in the physics section where through animations and graphics users can, for example, further their understanding of X-rays and learn about quantum theory. In the medical section users can learn about life processes and DNA.

'The advent of an Internet generation and the potential of this medium as an educational tool led us to develop the Nobel e-Museum. The number of students using our website was rising significantly and we wanted to meet this demand in a creative way,' said Nils Ringertz, director of NeM. "We felt no other medium offered the same potential to reach such a large, dispersed audience in such an interactive way. The NeM will be present everywhere and all the time. The fact that virtual space is almost unlimited offers possibilities for further expansion and in-depth information," he continued.

Funding for the educational content was provided by the Wallenberg Foundation and Cisco Systems, world leader in networking for the Internet, has provided the networking infrastructure underpinning the Nobel website. The equipment, which was installed with the help of young students on Cisco's Networking Academy program, expands the network's functionality as well as improving redundancy and security. Cisco is committed to develop the network technology of the website to enable advanced Internet TV broadcasts of Nobel events. Furthermore, Cisco, along with other sponsors, will be working closely with Nobel on the development of a Science and Technology section focusing on discoveries in the natural sciences that have resulted in practical and industrial applications.

"We believe that use of the Internet for education will develop beyond most people's imagination. Richer content and improved Internet access will drive web-based learning and vice versa. We're seeing it happen now as Governments worldwide commit to broadband access in schools and organisations like Nobel lead the way by providing rich content. Nobel has such inspirational resource at its fingertips and we are proud to be helping them share it through the Internet," said John Morgridge, Chairman, Cisco Systems.

Future content releases on the Nobel site will see a development of the Medical Section which covers new methods of diagnosing infections, disease and cancer and the creation of a Science and Technology Section covering discoveries in physics and how these made possible new information technologies. There will be web casts of laureate lectures and interviews, interactive maps linked to multimedia documents describing conflicts and peace work during the past century and much more.


The Nobel Foundation, established on June 29, 1900, manages the assets made available through the will of Alfred Nobel for the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace (first awarded in 1901) and is entrusted to protect the common interests of the prize awarding institutions: the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Swedish Academy, the Nobel Assembly of the Karolinska Institute, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Cisco Systems and eLearning

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Cisco is widely known for applying it own technologies and has done so extensively in the area of eLearning. 90% of Cisco's sales force use eLearning to stay up to date. In 1997 Cisco established a public-private partnership called the Cisco Networking Academy Program. This program aims to help educational establishments meet training needs in networking by providing them with an up-to-date curriculum on-line. Over 8,000 educational establishments worldwide have adopted the Cisco Networking Academy Program and it is being followed by almost 150,000 students. The reach of this eLearning project is such that, through a partnership with the United Nations, it is being delivered in countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Mali, Chad and the Congo.

View technology behind Nobel e-Museum at: