A year after cancelling the 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature in the wake of a scandal involving sexual and financial misconduct, the Nobel Foundation and the Swedish Academy announced plans to present the Nobel Prize in Literature for both 2018 and 2019.
This fall, the Swedish Academy, charged with picking the literary laureates, will once again award the Nobel Prize for Literature, this year to laureates for both 2018 and 2019.
In addition, the Nobel Foundation and the Swedish Academy announced changes and clarifications to the Swedish Academy’s rules to address the allegations of criminal and sexual misconduct, as well as conflicts of interest that forced the cancellation of the 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature.
According to a statement released by the Nobel Foundation, the Swedish Academy has elected several new members. The academy will now allow its members to resign, and the academy will no longer tolerate members subject to conflicts of interest or criminal investigations. The academy, according to the release, has also removed former members who were associated with the events that led to the cancellation of the 2018 prize.
In an effort to restore public confidence in the Nobel Prize for Literature, the academy has changed the system by which the Nobel Committee arrives at its decisions. The academy has appointed five independent external members to add a new perspective to the decision. The independent committee will participate in selecting Nobel laureates and submit its own joint proposal for the winner.
The new system will be used to pick the 2018 and 2019 laureates. The foundation emphasized that the academy has “taken a number of important steps to deal with the problems that arose late in 2017, and more are planned.”
According to the foundation’s release, “the organizational structure has been clarified and the Academy intends to practice greater openness, for example concerning its finances.” The academy also plans to study how to handle member explusions in the future, as well as introducing time limitations on academy membership.
In its statement, the foundation said, “Although it will take time to fully restore confidence, the Board of the Nobel Foundation believes that the prerequisites for this are now good. Given the reforms that have been implemented and planned, the Swedish Academy has the opportunity not only to put the past year behind it, but also to become a better-functioning organisation in the future.”