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Rain Man
10-03-2006, 02:00 PM
I'm seeing the Nobel Prizes get awarded, and once again I've been snubbed.

I have a question. The people who award the Nobel Prizes are no doubt learned, scholarly people from a range of fields. However, they're probably reviewing submissions and theories that are incredibly specialized and/or abstract and/or field-specific across a very diverse range of fields of study.

What do you think their batting average is in the long run? Are they able to decipher and divine the work that truly will have the most impact on mankind, or the most advancement of human knowledge, or whatever their mission is? Or do you think that every year there's some oddball scholar out there who is light-years beyond anybody else, and that person's work is so cutting-edge that the judges can't understand it enough to perceive its significance?

I'm not just asking that because I didn't win. I just wonder if the process is inherently flawed because the most profound discoveries may be beyond the understanding of most people, including most Nobel judges.

FAX
10-03-2006, 02:02 PM
The Nobel committee consults with Trent Green on these matters, Mr. Rain Man.

FAX

JimNasium
10-03-2006, 02:22 PM
When do they award the Nobel for dumbassery? Certainly there are many here in the running for that medal.

Rain Man
10-03-2006, 02:27 PM
When do they award the Nobel for dumbassery? Certainly there are many here in the running for that medal.

It takes a lot longer to sort out the contenders on that one, so it always runs late.

Demonpenz
10-03-2006, 02:31 PM
david glass

Phobia
10-03-2006, 02:32 PM
I think it's kind of like the NFL HOF voting - totally random.

cdcox
10-03-2006, 02:43 PM
Nobel prizes are usually awarded many years after the work is done, so that the long range implications of the work are obvious.

For example Rowland and Molina published a paper in 1974 that was the seminal contribution leading to the 1995 Nobel prize in chemistry "for their work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone".

It doesn't always take so long. The invention of the transistor occured in the mid to late 1940's and was awarded the Nobel prize in 1956.

The only problem is if you croak before the true contributions of your work become fully recognized, since the Nobel prize is not awarded posthumously.

Demonpenz
10-03-2006, 02:57 PM
Nobel prizes are usually awarded many years after the work is done, so that the long range implications of the work are obvious.

For example Rowland and Molina published a paper in 1974 that was the seminal contribution leading to the 1995 Nobel prize in chemistry "for their work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone".

It doesn't always take so long. The invention of the transistor occured in the mid to late 1940's and was awarded the Nobel prize in 1956.

The only problem is if you croak before the true contributions of your work become fully recognized, since the Nobel prize is not awarded posthumously.


If you die you can't win the award either

Rain Man
10-03-2006, 03:08 PM
They can't be awarded to dead people? That really stinks. So if you invent faster-than-light travel and then die, you won't get the award?

And what happens if they decide that you've won, but when they call you they find out that you died in a Volvo accident the night before? Do they just pretend it's a wrong number and give it to the next guy on the list?

cdcox
10-03-2006, 03:18 PM
They can't be awarded to dead people? That really stinks. So if you invent faster-than-light travel and then die, you won't get the award?

And what happens if they decide that you've won, but when they call you they find out that you died in a Volvo accident the night before? Do they just pretend it's a wrong number and give it to the next guy on the list?

Surprisingly enough, this has actually happended (well, not the Volvo and everything)


http://nobelprize.org/nomination/nomination_facts.html

Is it possible to nominate someone for a posthumous Nobel Prize?
No, it is not. From 1974, the Statutes of the Nobel Foundation stipulate that a prize cannot be awarded posthumously, unless death has occurred after the announcement of the Prize winners. This happened in 1996 when William Vickrey died only a few days after the announcement of the Prize in Economics.

Before 1974, the Nobel Prize has only been awarded posthumously twice - to Dag Hammarskj÷ld (Nobel Peace Prize 1961) and Erik Axel Karlfeldt (Nobel Prize in Literature 1931)

Rain Man
10-03-2006, 03:40 PM
Surprisingly enough, this has actually happended (well, not the Volvo and everything)


http://nobelprize.org/nomination/nomination_facts.html

Is it possible to nominate someone for a posthumous Nobel Prize?
No, it is not. From 1974, the Statutes of the Nobel Foundation stipulate that a prize cannot be awarded posthumously, unless death has occurred after the announcement of the Prize winners. This happened in 1996 when William Vickrey died only a few days after the announcement of the Prize in Economics.

Before 1974, the Nobel Prize has only been awarded posthumously twice - to Dag Hammarskj÷ld (Nobel Peace Prize 1961) and Erik Axel Karlfeldt (Nobel Prize in Literature 1931)


That is blatant Scandinavian favoritism. If you're a dead Nordic guy, you can get it, but if you're a dead non-Nord, you're out of luck. This whole prize thingie has lost its luster.

runnercyclist
10-03-2006, 05:19 PM
What kind of prize is it anyway?

cdcox
10-03-2006, 05:27 PM
What kind of prize is it anyway?

$10M SEK which is about $1.3M American...




oh, and a medal.

Rain Man
10-03-2006, 05:27 PM
What kind of prize is it anyway?

I think it looks like the Heisman, but with a book instead of a football.

Demonpenz
10-03-2006, 05:31 PM
i remember when critics wanted it taken away from einstien because he kept running up the equations when the outcome was in hand

'Hamas' Jenkins
10-03-2006, 06:16 PM
I'm in the Lit field, so that's the only one I can actually talk about with any authority. J.M. Coetzee, a South African writer, won a NP a few years back. His prize, and a good portion of Nobel Prizes in literature, are based upon his body of work. Coetzee is a native South African, and most of his work deals with issues of post-coloniality that have been discussed in the field of literature since Edward Said wrote a fairly famous piece on 'Orientalism' in the 1970's. So his work wasn't really 'light years' ahead so to speak, and it is fairly accessible.

I have no idea regarding scientists, though.

'Hamas' Jenkins
10-03-2006, 06:18 PM
i remember when critics wanted it taken away from einstien because he kept running up the equations when the outcome was in hand

"Proving scientific theories when the outcome has been decided is Copernicus Bush League"--Niels "Herm" Boehr.