Malala Yousafzai, 16, was nominated, but did not win the Nobel Peace Prize this year. Instead, the award went to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons -- perhaps in part as a nod to the effort to rid Syria of its chemical weapons stockpile.
Even Yousafzai's nomination, however, shined a beam of light upon her efforts to make education available to children -- especially girls -- around the world. In early 2009, when she was only 11, Yousafzai blogged anonymously for the BBC about life under the Taliban. And in October 2012, she survived an assassination attempt by a Taliban gunman.
In this photo, Yousafzai gives a speech after receiving the RAW in WAR Anna Politkovskaya Award at the Southbank Center in central London on Oct. 4. Earlier this week, Yousafzai, who relocated to England after the assassination attempt, won the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
Read on for more examples of why youth is not wasted on the young, at least not where the Nobel Prize is concerned.
At the age of just 25, in 1915, William Lawrence Bragg was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics with his father, William Henry Bragg. The father-son team -- shown here in this 1942 photo, the younger Bragg at left -- won the prize, according to the awards committee, "for their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-rays."
Werner Heisenberg is one of history's physics giants, and he took the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1932, at 31, "for the creation of quantum mechanics, the application of which has, inter alia, led to the discovery of the allotropic forms of hydrogen." Heisenberg's "uncertainty principle" famously put limits on the precision with which the position and velocity of a particle can be simultaneously determined.
Although Heisenberg is credited with winning the physics award in 1932, he did not actually receive it until 1933. The Nobel Physics Committee in 1932 decided that no one met the criteria to win, based upon the guidelines set forth in Alfred Nobel's will. Nobel rules, under such circumstances, allow for an award to be reserved for the following year.
Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac was another 31-year-old physicist and quantum mechanics specialist, winning the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physics -- jointly with Erwin Schrödinger -- "for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory."
Here, Dirac is in conversation with Werner Heisenberg (right) at the 18th convention of Nobel prize winners at Lindau (Bodensee), Germany in 1968.
Also 31 when he won the Nobel Prize in Physics was Carl Anderson, who was honored in 1936 for his discovery of the positive electron, or positron, the first established antiparticle of the electron. The 1936 physics prize was divided equally between Anderson and Victor Franz Hess, the latter for his discovery of cosmic radiation.
Tsung-Dao Lee, at 31 years of age, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1957, jointly with Chen Ning Yang. The pair received the high honor "for their penetrating investigation of the so-called parity laws which has led to important discoveries regarding the elementary particles."
In this photo, Chen Ning Yang (left) and Tsung-Dao Lee arrive in Stockholm with their wives for the Nobel presentation ceremony.
German physicist Rudolf Mossbauer was 32 when he was co-winner of the 1961 Physics Nobel, with Robert Hofstadter. Mossbauer won his share of the prize "for his researches concerning the resonance absorption of gamma radiation and his discovery in this connection of the effect which bears his name."
The 1923 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to 32-year-old Frederick Grant Banting, jointly with John James Rickard Macleod, for the discovery of insulin. To this day, Banting remains the youngest-ever laureate in Physiology or Medicine.
Mairead Corrigan, founder of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement (later to be known as the Community of Peace People), won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 when she was just 32 years old. Corrigan lost three of her children in a shooting in Belfast in 1976, and the incident spurred her to found, along with shooting witness Betty Williams, a peace organization that brought together thousands of people to march in protest against deadly violence in Northern Ireland between Catholics and Protestants. Corrigan was awarded the peace prize jointly with Williams.
Yemeni journalist, politician and human rights activist Tawakkol Karman shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, at age 32, with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee, for their non-violent efforts to promote women's safety and the right to participate fully in peace initiatives. Karman began organizing weekly protests against government repression and corruption in 2007 in Yemen's capitol, Sana'a, and she later encouraged protesters to support the Arab Spring movement in 2011. In 2005, she founded the organization Women Journalists Without Chains, which reports on human rights abuses in Yemen and documents unfair treatment of newspapers and writers.