The culmination of Nobel week comes on Friday, when the Nobel Prize for Peace is handed to ... no one, hopes Joshua Keating. In a column for Slate, Keating writes that in the past, and "at its best," the award has shone a spotlight on important issues—like climate change in 2007, and women's right four years later. But it's not just that 2014 has been a pretty deadly year around our planet (think: ISIS, Boko Haram, Ukraine, etc.). There's an issue at hand: "The most notable eruptions of violence have been so grimly predictable, the result of years of individual and collective failures by governments and international institutions," he writes. Giving the award to nobody would be an "acknowledgment" of that.
No handing out the award also wouldn't be a first. It most recently happened in 1972, marking the 19th time it wasn't bestowed on anyone (WWI and WWII years didn't see a lot of Peace prizes being doled out). Keating does acknowledge that some of the names being floated are by no means unworthy: There's Malala Yousafzai, along with Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege, who has done much for his country's many gang-rape victims. "But if the committee really wants to send a powerful message to world leaders after a not-so-peaceful year, there's only one way to do that," concludes Keating. "Give one of the world’s most famous awards to absolutely no one." Read his full column at Slate. (Read more Nobel Prize stories.)