STOCKHOLM -- Some of the world's top scholars will be thrust into the global spotlight this week as award committees in Stockholm and Oslo announce the 2012 Nobel Prizes, starting with the medicine award Monday.
The prestigious prizes, created by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, were first awarded in 1901 to honor ground-breaking achievements in medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace work.
The economics prize was not among the original awards, but was established by the Swedish central bank in 1968.
The Nobel Foundation this year lowered the prize money 20 percent to 8 million Swedish kronor ($1.2 million), citing turmoil on financial markets.
All prizes will be handed out Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896.
The Associated Press