Mr. Nobel’s charitable intentions for announcing his own award for energy solutions considered “misuse” of the family name
When the organizers of nanoTX’07 announced on August 30 that Dr. Michael Nobel will release details at the event for establishment of a new award associated with the Nobel Family name, it drew immediate fire from the Nobel Family Society and the Nobel Foundation.
“It is with regret that this office has had to inform Dr. Michael Nobel it will not be possible to have his presence as part of any program at nanoTX’07,” General Manager Richard Mason told reporters.
“In being charitable to Mr. Nobel’s good intentions for establishing an award, we were told for the field of energy solutions,” said Mason, “we nonetheless must decline any official involvement on his part in order to protect the event’s integrity.”
A letter to the event organizers dated September 13 on the joint letterhead of the Nobel Foundation and Nobel Family Society reads in part:
“To the Nobel Foundation the ‘Dr. Michael Nobel Award’ represents a clear misuse of the reputation and goodwill of the Nobel Prize and the associations of integrity and eminence that has been created over time and through the efforts of the Nobel Committees.”
The letter is jointly signed by Michael Sohlman, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation; and Thomas Tyden, Chairman of the Board of the Nobel family Society, and continues by saying Mr. Nobel misrepresents himself:
“We deeply regret that your organization erroneously presents Mr. Michael Nobel as chairman of the Nobel Family Society. At its general assembly in August 2006, the Nobel Family Society did not re-elect Mr. Michel (sic) Nobel mainly because of his unauthorized activities and involvements in the name of the Nobel Family Society. Mr. Nobel is in no way whatsoever authorized to represent the Nobel Family Society.”
When the nanoTX’07 Director of Grants and Awards, Peter Balbus, was told of the Nobel protest he replied “my due diligence all pointed to Michael Nobel having his family’s authorization and support, and he produced documents to that effect.”
The letter ended by making the Nobel position unmistakably clear:
“As executive Director of the Nobel Foundation and Chairman of the Board of the Nobel Family Society we wish to inform you that we disapprove to the institution of the so called ‘Dr. Michael Nobel Award’ as well as the Nobel Charitable Trust and Nobel Family Benevolent Society, inventions which are in no way sanctioned or supported by the Nobel Foundation, nor the Nobel Family Society.”
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