Nobels, a lagging indicator

P. Z. Myers at Pharyngula notes buzz about the science Nobels all going to Europeans (even the two U.S. residents are European).  Nobels are a lagging indicator of things, at best, P. Z. says.  The real damage done to U.S. research shows up other places.

Thanks for the reassurances, P. Z.

(He’s right, you know.  He’s using Nobels as an indicator of the robustness of U.S. science; I use them as an indicator of the robustness of U.S. education.  Much of the same stuff applies.  More on science, later.)

3 Responses to Nobels, a lagging indicator

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Not all of them spout nonsense as they get older, though some do, of course.

    We must be thinking along the same lines; see my post on the Watson debacle, here:


  2. Pam says:

    Then they get much older and spout all sorts of nonsense, either race, “God Talk” (universe could only be built on carbon…), or miracle cures (vitamin C)

    “Museum drops race row scientist, Dr James Watson

    The Science Museum has cancelled a talk by American DNA pioneer Dr James Watson after he claimed black people were less intelligent than white people”


  3. Onkel Bob says:

    M. Cappecchi for all intents and purposes is an “American.” He has lived here consistently from adolescence and was educated in the American school system. Nevertheless , there is some truth that the Nobel Prizes (and Laskers, etc..) are lagging indicators, as the work cited usually is 20 years old and the result of 20 years work prior to that point. Patents are also somewhat lagging as these are the product of past work. Unfortunately, patents are also misinterpreted as many are not “inventions,” but rather improvements on existing ideas or in worse cases so much bluster.
    One indicator of the success of education system would be the number of Ph.D. candidates entering in any given program. Anecdotally, this is not a promising situation.


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