1. #1
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    Nobel prize 2012: a week guaranteed to unleash joy, dismay – and a collective 'who?'

    Winners are announced this week. I'm not an expert on science but I always enjoy the ceremony and esp the "round table" discussions when all the laureates sit down and the discuss the world and science as a whole.

    Yesterday we saw the physiologi/medicine price go to Sir John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent"


    Today it was time for the prize in physics, it went to Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems"


    As the week goes on there will be the chemistry, peace and literature prizes as well and next week the economics prize, which isn't really a nobel prize but it does get presented as such(rewarded by one of the biggest banks here).

    The Norwegians are in charge of the peace prize and the Royal Swedish Academy are the ones giving out the rest, there are two seperate ceremonies.

    You can read more about the laureates here. Interviews, bios etc
    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_priz...ear/?year=2012


    Once more the nation's honour rests on the words of a secretive bunch of Scandinavians, who, on naming the latest members of the world's most prestigious club, the Nobel laureates, unleash joyful celebrations, acrimonious protests, and a collectively mumbled "Who?"

    The prize-giving starts on Monday with medicine or physiology, then moves to physics, chemistry, peace and literature before closing with economics next week.

    Most winners will be unfamiliar names and that can be no surprise. Hardly anyone with a public profile in science or economics is a contender; the literature prize has bypassed scores of famously great writers, from Nabokov to Tolstoy; and the peace prize is as fickle as politics.

    Britons, however, have fewer reasons than most to gripe about the obscurity of laureates. Since 2000, 16 prizes have landed on these shores. And the odds look good for a local winner this week. Only the US, which has won at least a prize a year since the second world war, can claim more Nobels than Britain.

    But UK winners are sure to be more scarce in future. The Nobels began with an emphasis on Europe, then shifted, with the US dominating since the 1940s. Other countries are in ascendance.

    "In the coming decades we will begin to see as many Nobel prizewinners from Asia as we have seen from Europe and North America since the mid-20th century," says David Pendlebury, who spots Nobel-class researchers from literature citations at Thomson Reuters.

    Handing out prizes worth 8m Swedish kronor (£744,000) sounds straightforward enough, but barely a year goes by without some hiccup or full-blown disaster.

    In 1987, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences woke Donald Cram in California to award him the chemistry prize. Cram, a carpet cleaner by trade, suspected a prank. He hung up, but the person rang back. Some words later, the caller was directed to another Donald Cram, who designed molecules at the University of California, Los Angeles. Countless other calls from Stockholm have been thwarted by wrong numbers and stubborn personal assistants.

    Worse has happened. Last year, the Nobel assembly gave the medicine prize to Ralph Steinman at Rockefeller University only to hear that he had died days earlier. The prize cannot be awarded posthumously, but after an emergency meeting, the honour was allowed to stand.

    Such problems are inevitable, says Karl Grandin, director of the Centre for History of Science at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. "You can't sit in hospitals all around the world to keep track of people."

    Of course the real fuss begins once the names have been made public. In the eyes of critics, some winners do not deserve the highest honour in the land.

    In 1973, Henry Kissinger won the peace prize for brokering a settlement in Vietnam, even as war raged on. In 2009, the same prize went to Barack Obama less than two weeks into his presidency. Elfriede Jelinek's literature prize in 2004 led one academy member to resign in dismay. Writing in the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, Knut Ahnlund described Jelinek's prose as "shovelled together without a trace of artistic structure".

    Perhaps worst of all, people are overlooked. The Nobel prize can honour at most three people, a rule that guarantees trouble in the sciences.

    The 2008 chemistry prize went to three scientists for work on fluorescent protein, an invaluable tool for understanding cells, but omitted Douglas Prasher, who kickstarted the field. The winners enjoyed prestigious posts in academia; Prasher ended up driving a shuttle bus, and joined a long list of unrecognised talent. "Anyone with any insight into how science works knows there's always a fourth person," says Grandin.

    So who will win this year? No one is eligible without a nomination, and hundreds are received for each prize every year. Once again and unlikely as ever, Bob Dylan is among the bookies' favourites for the literature prize. Michael Orthofer, at The Complete Review, points to Mo Yan, Adonis and William Trevor, but warns: "They manage to be pretty unpredictable and often very idiosyncratic." Ladbrokes favours the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami.

    The peace prize may go to Moncef Marzouki, the human rights campaigner and interim president of Tunisia, in support of the Arab spring, though Gene Sharp, a champion of non-violent struggle, is another contender. One of Pendlebury's favourites for the economics prize, an invention of Sweden's national bank, is Sir Tony Atkinson, for work on income inequality.

    The medicine prize must, at some point, honour Shinya Yamanaka for cell reprogramming, though Britain's Sir Alec Jeffreys is in contention for DNA fingerprinting. And despite Cern's apparent discovery of the Higgs boson this year, the uncertainty makes a prize premature. More likely is an award for dark matter, cloaking devices, or any number of weird quantum effects, from entanglement to teleportation.

    What is more certain as Nobel week gets under way is that whoever wins, there will be protest, celebration and disappointment. And as the names are read, plenty of us lesser mortals will ask the same question: "Who?"
    Who do you guys think will/should get the peace prize?
    Last edited by Jackmoves; 2012-10-09 at 11:25 AM.
    The nerve is called the "nerve of awareness". You cant dissect it. Its a current that runs up the center of your spine. I dont know if any of you have sat down, crossed your legs, smoked DMT, and watch what happens... but what happens to me is this big thing goes RRRRRRRRRAAAAAWWW! up my spine and flashes in my brain... well apparently thats whats going to happen if I do this stuff...

  2. #2
    Obama for sure.

  3. #3
    Dreadlord Wayne25uk's Avatar
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    Barney the dinosaur,hes always hanging out with a ton of kids from different cultures and he loves them all too.

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    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    I'm excited about the quantum observation one. The pluripotent cells too, but more the quantum observation one.
    Well 1, 2, 3, take my hand and come with me
    Because you look so fine
    And I really wanna make you mine

  5. #5
    If I only knew more about these things, I would enjoy watching it, but I don't think the shows here on Portugal even broadcast Nobel Prizes, only on the news, but news are boring.

  6. #6
    The Insane Cattaclysmic's Avatar
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    Pff only pluripotent? Give us totipotent and then you can have your medal!

  7. #7
    Mitt Romney or Obama.

  8. #8
    Old God
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
    I'm excited about the quantum observation one. The pluripotent cells too, but more the quantum observation one.
    The quantum one, can, from what I understand it for example make super fast computers, that might be as revolutionary as the first computer was. Which sounds pretty cool to a noob like myself.

    The physiology prize is about cancer/gen modifaction I think. Not sure. :P



    Quote Originally Posted by Majad View Post
    If I only knew more about these things, I would enjoy watching it, but I don't think the shows here on Portugal even broadcast Nobel Prizes, only on the news, but news are boring.
    The part I find the most interesting are these dicussions and the indivual interviews, they are usually a couple of hours long. The actual ceremony isn't too interesting, it's kind of like the Oscars, commentators who discuss the food etc haha, the "thank you" speeches the laureates hold are always classics to of course.

    The nerve is called the "nerve of awareness". You cant dissect it. Its a current that runs up the center of your spine. I dont know if any of you have sat down, crossed your legs, smoked DMT, and watch what happens... but what happens to me is this big thing goes RRRRRRRRRAAAAAWWW! up my spine and flashes in my brain... well apparently thats whats going to happen if I do this stuff...

  9. #9
    The Insane Cattaclysmic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackmoves View Post
    The physiology prize is about cancer/gen modifaction I think. Not sure. :P
    The physiology one i assume is about induced pluripotency in somatic cells whether it is induced into unipotent cells or just multipotent stemcells i cannot see.
    So its not really gene modification i think.
    And i dont know how great stem cells are against cancer but it can be useful for growing new organs or help against things like brain damage or basically anything where there is something "missing".

  10. #10
    Pandaren Monk Klutzington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toinouze View Post
    Obama for sure.
    Romney. Definitely.

  11. #11
    Scarab Lord GreatOak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wixwix View Post
    Mitt Romney or Obama.
    Lol


    HAHAHAHAHA
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides, 400BC.

  12. #12
    No one cares anymore as the Peace Prize has been relegated to a complete joke.

    Yasser Arafat
    Al Gore
    Jimmy Carter
    Barack Obama

    Yeah, it a complete joke anymore.

  13. #13
    Old God
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottsdaleHokie View Post
    No one cares anymore as the Peace Prize has been relegated to a complete joke.

    Yasser Arafat
    Al Gore
    Jimmy Carter
    Barack Obama

    Yeah, it a complete joke anymore.
    I kind of agree that it is a bit hit/miss, they've had some really weird choices, I've always been more interested in the scientific ones though, the Nobel prize is still the highest, or among the highest honors a scientist can get. So who gets them have always been something I found interesting.

    The peace prize is the one that gets most recognized though by the "general public".

    ---------- Post added 2012-10-09 at 05:28 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Cattaclysmic View Post
    The physiology one i assume is about induced pluripotency in somatic cells whether it is induced into unipotent cells or just multipotent stemcells i cannot see.
    So its not really gene modification i think.
    And i dont know how great stem cells are against cancer but it can be useful for growing new organs or help against things like brain damage or basically anything where there is something "missing".
    I see, not my area of expertise

    ---------- Post added 2012-10-10 at 02:21 PM ----------

    The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012
    Robert J. Lefkowitz, Brian K. Kobilka

    The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012 was awarded jointly to Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka "for studies of G-protein-coupled receptors"
    Last edited by Jackmoves; 2012-10-10 at 02:20 PM.
    The nerve is called the "nerve of awareness". You cant dissect it. Its a current that runs up the center of your spine. I dont know if any of you have sat down, crossed your legs, smoked DMT, and watch what happens... but what happens to me is this big thing goes RRRRRRRRRAAAAAWWW! up my spine and flashes in my brain... well apparently thats whats going to happen if I do this stuff...

  14. #14
    Old God
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    The Nobel Prize in Literature 2012
    Mo Yan

    Mo Yan

    The Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 was awarded to Mo Yan "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary".
    The nerve is called the "nerve of awareness". You cant dissect it. Its a current that runs up the center of your spine. I dont know if any of you have sat down, crossed your legs, smoked DMT, and watch what happens... but what happens to me is this big thing goes RRRRRRRRRAAAAAWWW! up my spine and flashes in my brain... well apparently thats whats going to happen if I do this stuff...

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