Nobel medicine laureate gets news coming off plane

Norwegian neuroscientist Edvard Moser learned that he had won the Nobel Medicine Prize only when he stepped off a plane in Munich Monday.

Moser was awarded the prize along with his wife May-Britt Moser and British-American researcher John O'Keefe for discovering how the brain navigates using "inner GPS".

"It was really a surprise. I didn't expect it at all, so I had no idea what was going on when I was welcomed at the airport with flowers," he told Swedish news agency TT almost an hour an a half after the Nobel announcement.

Munich airport officials congratulated the laureate as he left his plane, at which point he discovered he had "about 120 missed calls".

"That's when I saw that Goeran Hansson (secretary of the Nobel jury) had tried to reach me," said Moser, who works at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in the Arctic city of Trondheim.

Earlier in the day, his wife and co-laureate told the Nobel Foundation that it was a pity her husband had not got the news as he was travelling.

"I'm still in shock. This is so great," said May-Britt Moser.

"The only sad thing on a day like this is that Edvard is still on a plane, so he doesn't know!"

The Mosers co-manage the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience at NTNU.

© 2014 AFP

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