When Stockholm speaks—as it does each October—scientists worldwide turn an ear to the news broadcasters. The names of this year’s Nobelists were easily recognized by their peers in the scientific community, since their work has had such a significant impact. The following, while briefly reviewing the nature of the landmark research singled out by the Nobel Assembly, emphasizes the citation impact of each author’s work, as reflected in the Institute for Scientific Information’s Science Citation Index (SCI) database.


Two citation superstars share this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. As reported in The Scientist (Oct. 2, 1989, page 14), J. Michael Bishop, 53, and Harold E. Varmus, 49, both of the University of California, San Francisco, rank within the 200 most-cited scientists of 1973-84, according to the SCI. Bishop., with a total of 10,194 citations during this period, was the 24th most-cited scientist of the group; Varmus, with...

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