Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Why The Nobel Prize System Needs To Change

In today's Guardian, quantum physicist and PGS parent Jim Al-Khalili argues that The Nobel Prize Committee needs to change its rules to keep up with current scientific developments: 

Jim Al-Khalili
(source: BBC)
Science stories are in the news now more than ever with discoveries and breakthroughs seemingly coming thick and fast, from genetics to brain science to nanotechnology to astronomy . . . research disciplines previously unconnected are now starting to overlap and merge, with physicists, chemists, biologists, engineers, medics, computer scientists and mathematicians pooling their expertise to attack common problems. One such exciting field that is coming of age is quantum biology – where quantum physicists like me work alongside molecular biologists to attempt to explain a number of baffling phenomena in living cells.

 . . . So if scientists are shedding their silo mentality and becoming ever more interdisciplinary, isn't it time the Nobel prizes followed suit and better reflected this trend? Boundaries between the sciences are blurring . . . Why not just reward the best research, rather than pigeonholing disciplines? After all, it's not a new idea; physicists and biologists have worked together fruitfully in the past. Didn't Crick (a physicist) and Watson (a biologist) do just that?

Read the complete article here.

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