A day before yesterday, Bengt Holmström, a professor at MIT, was awarded the Noble prize for work in Economics together with his colleague Oliver Hart. His contributions are mainly game theoretical investigations of incentives and contract theory. Holmström, who got his first degree in mathematics from the University of Helsinki, is the fifth Finn to be awarded a Nobel prize. As you can find a wealth of information on Holmström right now in all possible sources, here are a few words on the other laureates.
In 2008 Martti Ahtisaari was awarded the Nobel Peace prize ”for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts”. Ahtisaari was also Finland’s tenth president (1994-2000).
In 1967 Ragnar Granit (together with Keffer Hartline and George Wald) was awarded the Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine for ”for their discoveries concerning the primary physiological and chemical visual processes in the eye”.
In 1945 Artturi Ilmari Virtanen, at the time a professor at the University of Helsinki, got the Nobel Prize in Chemistry ”for his research and inventions in agricultural and nutrition chemistry, especially for his fodder preservation method”. As far as I know, the fodder preservation method is still in use.
In 1939 Frans Eemil Sillanpää was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature ”for his deep understanding of his country’s peasantry and the exquisite art with which he has portrayed their way of life and their relationship with Nature”. His works are available in many languages, in English you can find ”Hurskas kurjuus” as ”Meek heritage”, ”Ihmiset suviyössä” as ”People in the summer night”, ”Nuorena nukkunut” as ”Fallen asleep while young” and ”Silja” as ”The maid Silja”. When looking for them, search for ”Sillanpää, F. E.” at the city library www.helmet.fi, or the university library www.helsinki.fi/helka as Sillanpää, Frans Eemil will give you only a fraction of the results.