The Impossible Dream of Eliminating the Nobel Prize

Given the reverence that the Nobel science prizes command, there's but a scant chance that the century-old awards will be deservedly terminated for what they've become: anachronisms that caricature the workings of modern research and sow acrimony among scientists.The turbo-hyped Nobels annually bring luster to Sweden, where the king hands out $1 million prizes in a ceremonial setting that draws prime-time attention worldwide. As one of the biggest, oldest, and most mystique-bound awards, the pri

Daniel Greenberg
Mar 14, 2004
<p></p>

Given the reverence that the Nobel science prizes command, there's but a scant chance that the century-old awards will be deservedly terminated for what they've become: anachronisms that caricature the workings of modern research and sow acrimony among scientists.

The turbo-hyped Nobels annually bring luster to Sweden, where the king hands out $1 million prizes in a ceremonial setting that draws prime-time attention worldwide. As one of the biggest, oldest, and most mystique-bound awards, the prizes create a unique class of super-sages. But if the Nobels didn't exist and someone proposed their creation today, the idea would not fly.

Since it would be easier to terminate Mother's Day, it's necessary to recognize that the Nobels are here to stay. That being so, herewith is guidance for scientists wanting to make a run for this coveted award.

First, don't go into mathematics, optical astronomy, botany, geology, oceanography, psychology, or the environmental...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?