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What’s your favorite (and/or least favorite) Nobel-Prize-winning science?

The Nobel Prize is awarded annually in recognition of significant scientific advances. In my Bioelectricity class, we’ve already learned about many Nobel Prize winners. Arrhenius, for example, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1903 for his electrolytic theory concerning the dissociation of ions (electrically charged particles), Nernst, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1920 for his work in understanding the energy of reactions, Hodgkin and Huxley won in 1963 for their discoveries concerning nerve action potentials, Neher and Sakmann received one in 1991 for work to isolate single ion channels in cells, and MacKinnon was awarded the Prize in Chemistry in 2003 for his discoveries concerning ion channels in cell membranes, just to name a few!
However, although the Nobel Prize for sciences is awarded formally for physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine, there is no prize for engineering, for example, and also there have been controversies for prizes awarded in the past. And, so, why not ask:
What’s your favorite (and/or least favorite) Nobel-Prize-winning science? What makes science “good” or “bad” at all?


Closing Statement from Andrew Kiang

Thanks to all of you for sharing your favorite Nobel Prize winners and your opinions about what makes "good" science. In the end, "good science" is still hard to define clearly but it seems to lean on the side of working genuinely to benefit mankind. I am glad to hear there are other prizes with as much prestige as the Nobel. Good work in other categories besides the strict Nobel sciences need to be encouraged.

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  • Feb 11 2012: Dr. Jaroslav Heyrovský, czech scientist. He was a great electrochemist and for Nobel price was nominated for 18 times - in years 1934, 1938, 1940, 1944, 1947, 1950, 1952–1959 for chemistry, 1940 physics, 1948, 1949, 1953 in medicine. So he is my guy!
    • Feb 12 2012: That's a lot of nominations! I noticed that they are also for different fields of science. He finally won in 1959 for chemistry. I wonder how many prize winners have been in his position of being nominated a lot of times before winning, and the reasons for them winning with the science they had done.
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      Feb 14 2012: Jiri,

      Looking through this fascinating conversation started by Andrew, I have been able to research all different types of interesting scientists and Noble Prize winners. However, I have found that Dr. Jaroslav Heyrovský is definitely the most interesting of all. The perseverance Dr. Jaroslav Heyrovský had was inspiring, as he was so close for so long, and finally won 25 years after being nominated 18 times. Furthermore, he was honored all around the world for all the great work he has done. It is incredible to be so talented in multiple fields like Dr. Jaroslav Heyrovský was. Thanks for sharing this, as his story is truly something to look up to.


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