Skip to main content

Who is in the running for the Nobels?

For the outside world, exactly who wins Nobel Prizes in the science is fairly academic (geddit?) - and even for those with a professional interest it may sometimes seem that the reason for the awards can be sliced pretty thin these days. The early prizes do seem often to have been for more 'big' work than the more subtle modern ones. But having said that, we also always get some goodies.

I didn't realize it until they sent me a press release, but Thomson Reuters do an annual prediction of the likely runners and riders - useful in case you fancy a flutter. So here are this years' favourites according to TR. On the physics side, I rather fancy the Quantum Spin Hall effect, but that's just me...

P.S. I don't know why Economics is treated as a science either.

James E. Darnell, Jr.Vincent Astor Professor Emeritus, Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, Rockefeller University
New York, NY USA


Robert G. RoederArnold and Mabel Beckman Professor, Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Rockefeller University
New York, NY USA


Robert TjianProfessor of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California Berkeley, and President, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Berkeley, CA, and Chevy Chase, MD USA

For fundamental discoveries concerning eukaryotic transcription and gene regulation
David Julius
Morris Herzstein Chair in Molecular Biology and Medicine,
Professor and Chair of Physiology, University of California San Francisco
San Francisco, CA USA

For elucidating molecular mechanisms of pain sensation
Charles LeeProfessor and Scientific Director of the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine
Farmington, CT USA
Stephen W. Scherer
Senior Scientist and Director, The Centre for Applied Genomics, The Hospital for Sick Children, Professor and Director, McLaughlin Centre, University of Toronto
Michael H. WiglerProfessor and Head, Mammalian Cell Genetics Section, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Cold Spring Harbor, NY USA
For their discovery of large-scale copy number variation and its association with specific diseases

Charles L. Kane
Class of 1965 Endowed Term Chair Professor of Physics, University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA USA
Laurens W. Molenkamp
Professor of Physics and Chair of Experimental Physics, University of Würzburg
Würzburg, GERMANY
Shoucheng ZhangJ.G. Jackson and C.J. Wood Professor of Physics, Stanford University
Stanford, CA USA

For theoretical and experimental research on the quantum spin Hall effect and topological insulators
James F. ScottDirector of Research, Department of Physics, University of Cambridge
Cambridge, UK

Ramamoorthy Ramesh
Professor, Physics and MSE, and Associate Lab Director for Energy Technologies, University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, CA USA


Yoshinori Tokura*
Director, RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science, and
Professor, Department of Applied Physics, The University of Tokyo
Saitama and Tokyo, JAPAN

For their pioneering research on ferroelectric memory devices (Scott) and new multiferroic materials (Ramesh and Tokura). *Tokura was previously named a Citation Laureate in 2002.
Peidong Yang
S. K. and Angela Chan Distinguished Chair in Energy, Department of Chemistry,  Materials Science and Engineering, University of California Berkeley, Kavli Energy Nanoscience Institute, and Materials Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Berkeley, CA USA

For his contributions to nanowire photonics including the creation of first nanowire nanolaser

Charles T. Kresge
Chief Technology Officer, Saudi Aramco, Dhahran

Ryong Ryoo
Director, Center for Nanomaterials and Chemical Reactions, Institute for Basic Science and Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

Galen D. Stucky
E. Khashoggi Industries, LLC Professor in Letters and Science, University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA USA

For design of functional mesoporous materials
Graeme MoadChief Research Scientist, CSIRO
Clayton, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

Ezio RizzardoCSIRO Fellow, CSIRO
Clayton, Victoria, AUSTRALIA


San H. ThangChief Research Scientist, CSIRO
Clayton, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

For development of the reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization process
Ching W. Tang
Professor of Chemical Engineering and Bank of East Asia Professor, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Rochester, and Chair Professor in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Chemistry, and Physics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Rochester, NY USA and Hong Kong, CHINA
Steven Van SlykeChief Technology Officer, Kateeva
Menlo Park, CA USA
For their invention of the organic light emitting diode

Philippe M. Aghion
Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics, Harvard University
Cambridge, MA USA

Peter W. HowittLyn Crost Professor Emeritus of Social Sciences and Professor Emeritus of Economics, Brown University
Providence, RI USA

For contributions to Schumpeterian growth theory
William J. BaumolProfessor of Economics and Harold Price Professor of Entrepreneurship, New York University
New York, NY USA

Israel M. KirznerEmeritus Professor of Economics, New York University
New York, NY USA

For their advancement of the study of entrepreneurism
Mark S. GranovetterJoan Butler Ford Professor and Chair of Sociology, and Joan Butler Ford Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University
Stanford, CA USA

For his pioneering research in economic sociology

 "Nobel Prize". Via Wikipedia


Popular posts from this blog

Why I hate opera

If I'm honest, the title of this post is an exaggeration to make a point. I don't really hate opera. There are a couple of operas - notably Monteverdi's Incoranazione di Poppea and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas - that I quite like. But what I do find truly sickening is the reverence with which opera is treated, as if it were some particularly great art form. Nowhere was this more obvious than in ITV's recent gut-wrenchingly awful series Pop Star to Opera Star , where the likes of Alan Tichmarsh treated the real opera singers as if they were fragile pieces on Antiques Roadshow, and the music as if it were a gift of the gods. In my opinion - and I know not everyone agrees - opera is: Mediocre music Melodramatic plots Amateurishly hammy acting A forced and unpleasant singing style Ridiculously over-supported by public funds I won't even bother to go into any detail on the plots and the acting - this is just self-evident. But the other aspects need some ex

Is 5x3 the same as 3x5?

The Internet has gone mildly bonkers over a child in America who was marked down in a test because when asked to work out 5x3 by repeated addition he/she used 5+5+5 instead of 3+3+3+3+3. Those who support the teacher say that 5x3 means 'five lots of 3' where the complainants say that 'times' is commutative (reversible) so the distinction is meaningless as 5x3 and 3x5 are indistinguishable. It's certainly true that not all mathematical operations are commutative. I think we are all comfortable that 5-3 is not the same as 3-5.  However. This not true of multiplication (of numbers). And so if there is to be any distinction, it has to be in the use of English to interpret the 'x' sign. Unfortunately, even here there is no logical way of coming up with a definitive answer. I suspect most primary school teachers would expands 'times' as 'lots of' as mentioned above. So we get 5 x 3 as '5 lots of 3'. Unfortunately that only wor

Which idiot came up with percentage-based gradient signs

Rant warning: the contents of this post could sound like something produced by UKIP. I wish to make it clear that I do not in any way support or endorse that political party. In fact it gives me the creeps. Once upon a time, the signs for a steep hill on British roads displayed the gradient in a simple, easy-to-understand form. If the hill went up, say, one yard for every three yards forward it said '1 in 3'. Then some bureaucrat came along and decided that it would be a good idea to state the slope as a percentage. So now the sign for (say) a 1 in 10 slope says 10% (I think). That 'I think' is because the percentage-based slope is so unnatural. There are two ways we conventionally measure slopes. Either on X/Y coordiates (as in 1 in 4) or using degrees - say at a 15° angle. We don't measure them in percentages. It's easy to visualize a 1 in 3 slope, or a 30 degree angle. Much less obvious what a 33.333 recurring percent slope is. And what's a 100% slope