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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

‘I don’t believe you’: How Venkatraman Ramakrishnan reacted to call saying he’d won Nobel Prize

The structural biologist, who won the prestigious award over a decade ago "for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome", initially he thought the call from the organisation was a prank call.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 2, 2020 12:26:19 pm
nobel prize, nobel prize 2020, nobel prize memories, Nobel laureate stories, Venkatram Ramakrishnan, Venkatram Ramakrishnan nobel prize story, Venkatram Ramakrishnan nobel prize call, indian expres, viral newsThe official Instagram account of the Nobel Prize shared the Indian-origin scientist's story ahead of this year's announcements.

The official handle for the Nobel Prize shared how scientist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan refused to believe he had won the prestigious award for Chemistry, and it is being widely shared on social media.

The structural biologist, who won the prestigious award over a decade ago “for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome”, initially he thought the call from the organisation was a prank call and was angered by it. According to a post shared by the official handle of the Nobel Prize, Ramakrishnan was in “a bad mood as his day had not started well”.

In a Instagram post, the organisation wrote: “His bike had gotten a flat tire on his way to work which caused him to arrive late to his office at the University of Cambridge.” Just as he arrived at the office later than usual, he received the important call. ”This is an important phone call from Stockholm – please hold.”

Instead, Ramakrishnan answered angrily: “Whoever put you up to this – I don’t believe you!”.

“The general secretary then came on to congratulate the newly awarded Chemistry Laureate, who still was very sceptical. The general secretary tried to convince him that the news was true but it wasn’t until Ramakrishnan got to speak with the committee member Måns Ehrenberg (who he had met before) that he believed it,” the post said.

Read the full post here:

View this post on Instagram

How would you react if you received a phone call claiming that you had been awarded the Nobel Prize? Structural biologist Venkatram Ramakrishnan couldn't believe that he had been awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In October 11 years ago, Ramakrishnan was in a bad mood as his day had not started well. His bike had gotten a flat tire on his way to work which caused him to arrive late to his office at MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Just as he arrived at the office the telephone rang: ”This is an important phone call from Stockholm – please hold.” He answered angrily: "Whoever put you up to this – I don’t believe you!". The general secretary then came on to congratulate the newly awarded Chemistry Laureate, who still was very sceptical. The general secretary tried to convince him that the news was true but it wasn't until Ramakrishnan got to speak with the committee member Måns Ehrenberg (who he had met before) that he believed it. He then heard the laughter in the background – he was on loud speaker… Photo: The Royal Society. Via Wikimedia Commons. . . . #NobelPrize #Nobel #award #announcements #chemistry #call #telephone #bicycle #science #research #discovery

A post shared by Nobel Prize (@nobelprize_org) on

It was when Ramakrishnan heard people laughing in the background that he realised that he was on loud speaker.

The post got a lot of attention online, with many commenting on how a rough day could turn into an extraordinary one.

The post was shared by the official handle with this year’s winners set to be announced from October 5. The handle often shares lesser known, and fun, facts about previous winners as well as trivia.

View this post on Instagram

What would you think has happened if you receive a phone call early in the morning? "My first thought was that something terribly tragic must have happened; somebody has turned ill or you know something worst than that. So I was concerned, so I was first relieved that it wasn't any of that and then when I examined that news, the examined news seemed good cause this is the academy calling." Around 5 a.m. on 14 October 1998 Amartya Sen's telephone rang. He was worried and fairly sure that something tragic had happened. But after the news sank in, Sen felt that "it was a good piece of news" and started the day with a cup of coffee. Stay tuned to find out who will be receiving the phone call this year. Photo: Stephanie Mitchell/@harvard university. . . . #NobelPrize #Nobel #announcements #science #discovery #research #economicsciences #economic #amartyasen #scientist #researcher

A post shared by Nobel Prize (@nobelprize_org) on

From Albert Einstein to Amartya Sen, the handle has already shared other stories involving awardees in the days leading upto the 2020 ceremony.

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