On December 10, Alfred Nobel's wish to recognize the contributions of scientists whose work confers “the greatest benefit on mankind” will be honored for the 105th time. The Royal Swedish Academy will present this year's Nobel Prize laureates with their prize, including medals and diplomas, at a ceremony in Stockholm. For more details, visit www.nobelprize.org.

Alison Snyder

PHYSICS: John C. Mather of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and George F. Smoot of the University of California, Berkeley, for their research during the 1980s on the form of the cosmic microwave background radiation that was released early in the big bang.

CHEMISTRY: Roger D. Kornberg of Stanford University, for his work over the past six years illustrating the molecular mechanism for copying genes in eukaryotes.

PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE: Andrew Z. Fire of the Stanford University School of Medicine and Craig C. Mello of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, for their 1998 discovery of RNA interference, which regulates gene expression and helps defend cells against viruses.

ECONOMICS: Edmund S. Phelps of Columbia University, for his work in the 1960s elucidating the relation among unemployment, inflation and expectations, thereby better connecting current policy and future economic goals.