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Featured News Nobel Prize 2018 Announcements

  1. Sep 23, 2018 #21

    atyy

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    Does the RHIC quark-gluon "perfect liquid" deserve a prize?
     
  2. Sep 24, 2018 #22

    Orodruin

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    You need to check your history books. Einstein did win the Nobel prize. The reason was ”for his services to Theoretical Physics, in particular the photoelectric effect”. His services to theoretical physics certainly includes relativity, even if the committee did not want to put it in black on white.

    Also, your line of argumentation is flawed. That there have been men who were overlooked in no way compensates for systematically overlooking women who many times did a larger part of the work. Bringing this up is whataboutism.
     
  3. Sep 24, 2018 #23

    Orodruin

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    I will buy that the chemistry prize is more likely then, but would you consider it a stretch if they did get the prize in medicine? There have been previous prizes that could arguably have been in one of two categories, for example, the prize of Otto Hahn was already mentioned in this thread.

    ... Imagine the surprise of the Nobel Committee in Chemistry if they have decided to propose CRISPR to the academy and the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska announces it as the Medicine prize next Monday ...
     
  4. Sep 24, 2018 #24

    Orodruin

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    Another person I would like to see win a Nobel Prize is Helen Quinn (with Peccei). She was the first woman to win an Oskar Klein medal, in 2008, which is also sponsored by the Royal Academy of Sciences. The Klein medal has a history of being awarded to many prominent physicists who have later gone on to win (Thorne, Higgs, Gross, Nambu, 't Hooft) a Nobel Prize (or already won it - Wilczek, Weinberg, Bethe). However, in the case of Quinn we would probably need to discover axions first ...
     
  5. Sep 24, 2018 #25

    atyy

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    Yeah, you need to discover the axion first so that PF can also have a Nobel Prize winner :)
     
  6. Sep 24, 2018 #26

    f95toli

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    I think the question here is if the discovery was really "physics" as such; although I guess that could be said for the integrated circuit as well.
    Dahlen's system was used in countless lighthouses around the world for close of half a century and made automatic lighthouses much more practical. Hence, giving him the price was probably very much in the spirit of what Nobel.had in mind.

    Also, the sun valve is a very, very clever invention.
     
  7. Sep 24, 2018 #27

    Orodruin

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    This is a good point. The discussion might benefit from the formulation of Alfred Nobel's will:
    The main question is probably what Nobel intended by an "invention within the field of physics". Just from the wording, one could ask the question whether a theoretical framework is an "invention" (e.g., would this include Noether's theorem?) or if invention is intended to be of a more practical nature. Given what I know of Alfred Nobel, I would tend to favour the latter interpretation, which is also what the Nobel Committee has historically done, but of course there is no way of actually asking him.
     
  8. Sep 24, 2018 #28

    I want to stand up for the small guy a little on this after a quick google, Dalen lost his sight in an accident during an experiment and could not attend the Nobel ceremony.
    Commitment for his cause if nothing else and a high price to pay.


    With the whole women thing, one has to remember women hardly had any rights at all until fairly recently so you would expect society to reflect that.
    Women did not vote in the UK till 1918 by which time Marie Curie had already won two Nobel prizes which is a nod in the direction of science out running societal prejudice.
    Its also worth looking at the attitude to education/University in terms of when women were allowed to attend and study for a degree, hardly surprising not as women could get a look in.
    Reading a little history Jocelyn Bell probably should have been in with a shout.
     
  9. Sep 24, 2018 #29
    oops you already pointed this out
     
  10. Sep 24, 2018 #30

    Demystifier

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    My try: Zeilinger (probably sharing with someone else) for experiments on quantum foundations, especially for simultaneous closing of fair sampling and locality loopholes in tests of Bell inequalities.
    https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.250401
     
  11. Sep 24, 2018 #31
    I didn't bring up that fact to argue against any of that. You're the one bringing up the fact that women's work was overlooked in the past, and because of that "it's about time the prize goes to a woman", as if two wrongs make a right (wrong in the sense of weighing in the scientist's gender to make a decision).
     
  12. Sep 24, 2018 #32

    StatGuy2000

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    Some data points regarding the Nobel Prize:

    Between 1901 and 2017, the Nobel Prize have been awarded to women 49 times, and thus 48 women were awarded the Nobel Prize in total out of 892 individuals, meaning 5.4% of all Nobel Prizes awarded to individuals were to women. (Please note that Marie Curie been awarded the prize twice, once in 1903 in physics, the other in 1911 in chemistry).

    If you look at the distribution of the Nobel Prizes awarded to women:

    1. 2 were for physics, 4 were for chemistry, and 12 were for physiology and medicine. Therefore, out of the 48 women awarded the prize, 17 women (35.4%) were awarded for STEM fields recognized by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Karolinska Institute (who present the prizes for the STEM categories).

    2. One woman (2.1%), Elinor Ostrom, was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics in 2009.

    3. The remaining 30 women (62.5%) were thus awarded for Peace or for Literature

    It's also worth noting that out of all of the women awarded the Nobel Prize, 19 (39.6%) were awarded between the years of 2001-2017.

    https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/lists/nobel-prize-awarded-women-3/
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
  13. Sep 24, 2018 #33

    Orodruin

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    Then you are making a straw-man argument. I am not arguing that at all. I am just saying that it is about time. The accomplishments of Lene Hau (who I was discussing) stand on their own.
     
  14. Sep 24, 2018 #34

    Orodruin

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    Just a formality: There is no such thing as the "Nobel Academy". The Nobel Assembly is the body under Karolinska Institutet that selects the laureate(s) in Physiology or Medicine. The Physics and Chemistry laureates are selected by the Royal Academy of Sciences and is usually based on the suggestions by its Nobel Committees in the respective subjects.
     
  15. Sep 24, 2018 #35

    TeethWhitener

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    My feeling is that Zeilinger will almost certainly win at some point. Whether this is the year is an open question.
    Yeah, Doudna and Charpentier will definitely win, and soon. Although I'm kind of shocked that the Human Genome Project still hasn't gotten a shoutout after ~15 years (Craig Venter and Francis Collins being the obvious choices). Maybe Chemistry will go to CRISPR and Medicine will go to HGP.
     
  16. Sep 24, 2018 #36

    Ygggdrasil

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    In your first post, you seemed to argue that there are many more people and discoveries deserving of the prize that can be awarded, so the decision of which discovery gets the prize is fairly arbitrary (I would also agree with this). Given that there are many scientists worthy of a Nobel prize, given that some are women, and given what we know about intrinsic biases, it would make sense to make a conscious effort to make sure womens' work does not get overlooked. No one is arguing to award the prize to a woman who has not done work worthy of the prize. But given that there are women who have done work worthy of a Nobel prize, why not make sure they get the award before they die (as in the case of Vera Rubin)? Unless, say, you want to argue that Lene Hau's work is not worthy of a Nobel prize.
     
  17. Sep 24, 2018 #37

    StatGuy2000

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    Thanks for the clarification. I've edited my post accordingly.
     
  18. Sep 24, 2018 #38

    Ygggdrasil

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    TALENS have not proven very useful as tools for gene editing because it is very difficult to engineer them to target specific sequences. On the other hand, a high school summer student that I supervised was able to design a CRISPR experiment. People working on TALENS (and the meganucleases and zinc-finger nucleases before them), certainly did contribute knowledge about how to perform gene editing, however, through using the cell's non-homologous end joining and homology directed repair pathways. Indeed, once Doudna and Charpentier (+ Siksnys) worked out the details of how to target CRISPR to specific DNA sequences, the other knowledge was already in place to allow the gene editing experiments to happen very quickly.

    A Nobel prize, however, would probably go to the scientists responsible for earlier work on figuring out the non-homologous end joining and homology directed DNA repair pathways rather than the scientists who applied that knowledge for gene editing.

    I would be mildly surprised if it were a medicine prize because:
    1) CRISPR itself, being a bacterial antiviral defense mechanism, is not really relevant to human health.
    2) As a tool, CRISPR has not yet been shown to successfully treat any disease in humans.

    The one thing going for CRISPR at this point is its utility as a tool for biomedical research (but again, development of tools for biomedical research generally falls into Chemistry, such as last year's prize for cryo-electron microscopy, or prizes for PCR, DNA synthesis, DNA sequencing, methods for x-ray crystallography of macromolecules, protein NMR or soft-ionization methods for mass spectrometry). While the CRISPR work is definitely worthy of a Chemistry prize, I'd say it's still premature to consider it for the Medicine prize.

    I assume the committee chairs communicate with each other to avoid redundant awards.
     
  19. Sep 24, 2018 #39

    Ygggdrasil

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    That prediction was from 2009...

    However, it did pretty well for the Medicine category. Five of the six individuals named eventually won Nobel Prizes in Medicine.

    For more recent predictions from the Web of Knowledge team (now Clarivate Analytics):
    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-rel...-future-nobel-prize-recipients-300715570.html
    https://clarivate.com/2018-citation-laureates/

    Another set of predictions for 2018, from a biophysicist blogger:
    http://blog.everydayscientist.com/?p=3662

    For predictions from past years, here are some links I compiled in a previous thread: https://www.physicsforums.com/threa...xpectations-and-opinions.925887/#post-5843790
     
  20. Sep 24, 2018 #40

    Ygggdrasil

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    At this point, that the committee hasn't awarded a prize for the human genome project suggests that they don't see it as worthy of a Nobel prize. It certainly was a big undertaking that provided a valuable resource for biomedical research, but perhaps it is not innovative enough. Similarly, the prize for the Higgs Boson went to the theorists who predicted it, not the team that performed the experiment to observe evidence of it.

    Personally, I think a Medicine prize to Venter and Collins for the HGP would be warranted. Another option would be a Chemistry prize for DNA sequencing technologies to Venter for inventing the shotgun sequencing approach and to Shankar Balasubramanian and David Klenerman for developing the sequencing by synthesis approach that forms the basis for modern next-generation, high-throughput sequencing devices.
     
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