The guy who calls the Nobel Prize recipients

Thought this was fascinating. Since July 1, 2010, Professor Staffan Normark has been the permanent secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and one hell of a cold-caller. He’s the one who calls folks to tell them they’ve won a Nobel Prize.

Sometimes the subjects of his research have an inkling that it could be their time; but when their phone rings, they try not to let themselves believe it. Serge Haroche (physics, 2012) was out walking with his wife when he saw a Swedish code appear on his mobile. “I realised it was real and it’s, you know, really overwhelming,” he says. “I was lucky—I was in the street and passing near a bench, so I was able to sit down immediately.”

Pretty cool job.