Northampton researchers nominated for Nobel prize

Thursday, January 30, 2014
NORTHAMPTON — The National Priorities Project has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Price by 13 former Nobel prize laureates through the International Peace Bureau, which itself won the prize in 1910.*

Typically, nominations for the prize are shrouded in secrecy, with Nobel rules stating that names of nominees may not be revealed — even by those nominated — until 50 years after the prize is awarded.

But the International Peace Bureau announced its nomination of NPP on its website in a post dated Jan. 25, a decision that came a full week before the deadline for nominations.

“IPB believes that Alfred Nobel was dedicated to supporting those who seek alternatives to the system of warmaking,” reads a statement on the peace bureau’s website. “In our view, the essential fuel for this system is money, especially public money derived largely from taxpayers. Within the world’s largest-spending state in terms of military budgets, i.e. the USA, few have devoted as much energy to studying the budget process as the National Priorities Project. And few have brought to the task such a clear and steadfast commitment to reallocating the enormous sums devoted to the military, in order to instead address vital issues such as inequality, unemployment, education, health and the need to build a green economy.”

The Northampton group was founded in 1983 by the late Greg Speeter. According to its website, its mission is to make the “complex federal budget transparent and accessible so people can exercise their right and responsibility to oversee and influence how their tax dollars are spent.”

It has a staff of about 15 people working at its offices at 343 King. St.

Reached Tuesday morning at the NPP office in Northampton, Executive Director Jo Comerford said, “I am unable to comment at this time.”

The international prize, established by Alfred Nobel, is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The first Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in 1901.

Last year, there were 259 nominations, the largest number in Nobel history. Once the nominations are made, the list is winnowed down to a short list of between five and 20 candidates which is more exhaustively vetted, according to the website. The prize is awarded by a five-member committee appointed by the Norwegian Storting or parliament.

The deadline for nominations for the prize is Feb. 1. There is no set date for the winner to be announced, though traditionally it is announced on the second Friday of October, according to the Nobel website.

* CORRECTION: This year was incorrect in an earlier version of this story.