Top 10 Nobel Laureates Whose Work Changed The World

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Created in 1901 by dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel, the Nobel Prize were meant to highlight the good being done in the world in the scientific, political and activist communities. As the 2014 Nobel Prize winners are announced, we look at the top 10 of the most influential laureates in the history of the awards.

10. Aung San Suu Kyi

 

Aung San Suu Kyi actually wasn't allowed to leave Burma to receive her prize. In the meantime, she'd been detained by Burma's militaristic regime. Her earnest efforts made her a symbol of freedom not only for the Burmese but also for people all over the world.

9. Nelson Mandela

 

Nelson Mandela was awarded peace prize for his role in ending apartheid and making a peaceful transition to full democracy.

8. Ernest Hemingway

 

Those who have won the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature have all made an impact on the literary world. Still, none have left such a mark as Ernest Hemingway. His works are still read the world over by both children and adults.

7. Ivan Pavlov

 

Ivan Pavlov may be best known by memorable sound bites, such as "Pavlov's dogs" or the "Pavlovian response." He's insights opened new doors in psychology and behaviorism, and they altered the way people perceive their own behaviors.

6. Martin Luther King Jr. 

 

He had a dream and he paid for it with his life. In a country riven by racial discrimination and a legacy of slavery, King promoted equality and freedom for everyone. Even after his death in 1968, his image is still used today as a symbol by human rights groups around the world.

5. Francis Crick, James Watson and Maurice Wilkins 

 

These three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 for their discovery of the "double helix" structure of DNA 9 years earlier.

4. Mother Teresa

 

She's a virtual brand name when it comes to charity. Mother Teresa remained committed to the charity for more than 40 years. Her organization is still active in more than 130 countries, with thousands of sisters tending to those in need.

3. Robert Koch

 

Often referred to as the father of bacteriology, Robert Koch identified the causative agents of three of the 20th century’s most fatal diseases: tuberculosis, anthrax and cholera.

2. Albert Einstein

 

From a physics perspective, Albert Einstein helped to overhaul not just the entire world but also the entire universe. His concepts were so far-reaching that, in some ways, they turned our perception of the very nature of reality inside out.

1. Marie Curie

 

Marie Curie is a figurehead for the Nobel Prize. In an era when women were in many ways considered inferior to men, Curie more than proved her worth and left a scientific legacy that continues to affect medicine and technology in untold ways.

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