The Swedish Academy’s secretary, Anders Olsson, is wondering how the Academy should avoid leaks when the new five external members of the Nobel Committee sit for only two years.
Olsson tells the news agency TT that it is a big problem that the external only sit for two years. He describes the solution about the external Nobel Prize committee as “unthinkable” and “problematic”, especially since the Swedish Academy has had leaks earlier.
The Nobel Committee has introduced a new scheme by acquiring five independent members. The members of the committee who can be linked to “previous years’ events” must appear. The changes only apply for two years.
– It is very unclear how to handle that people in the committee have access to name lists even after they have quit. Even then, they will know which have been nominated earlier, he says.
The scandal surrounding the Swedish Academy flared up when 18 women emerged in November 2017 and told them that they had been subjected to sexual harassment and abuse by a man with close ties to the Academy.
This turned out to be Jean-Claude Arnault, who was later convicted of rape. Arnault is married to the poet Katarina Frostenson, who until recently was a member of the Academy.
In addition to the assault charges, Arnault was also accused of having leaked the names of Nobel laureates before they were announced. Horace Engdahl opposed initiating investigations of the charges. He had to leave the committee after the new scheme was kicked off.
Secretary Anders Olsson says that the risk of leaks is something the Academy must eventually live with.
– It’s a big problem about confidentiality. You just have to trust that. It is a confidence one has when entering this, and we can do nothing else. It is the same with those who have now left the Academy, that they know very much that can not come out, he says.
This year, the Swedish Academy will award two literature awards to replace the award in 2018.