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The Nobel Peace Prize: A Conversation with Frederik Heffermehl

  • Broadcast in Education
Ethics Talk

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Frederik Heffermehl is an international lawyer, peace activist and author of “The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted” (2010 Praeger).  Former Vice President of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA), Heffermehl joins us as we continue to reflect on the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force on 1/22/2021. We also discuss Heffermehl’s work on the Nobel Peace Prize including his website nobelwill.org.  The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.  Heffermehl reflects on this award and, more generally, discusses Nobel’s intent in his will of 1895– by which 5 different “Nobel Prizes” were established (Physics,  Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, and Peace).  Respecting Nobel’s intent is a legal duty incumbent upon the Norwegian Nobel Committee (NNC). However, Heffermehl argues that with regard to the “Prize for the Champions of Peace” as Nobel called it, The NNC has shirked this duty, in part by ignoring the connection between Nobel and Bertha von Suttner, who inspired him to create the prize.

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