Issue Date: February 16, 2009
Other Problems With Nobel Prizes
I READ with some dismay Rudy Baum's editorial on the Nobel Prizes (C&EN, Oct. 20, 2008, page 5). Since the print subscription brings the issues somewhat late to my desk in India, I am responding only now by adding my own two bits.
People will remember the ruckus created by the AIDS virus and subsequent investigation into Robert Gallo's research by the Office of Research Integrity, as Rudy Baum himself observes. I do not want to defend the prizes, but I would have liked Baum to reflect on this year's chemistry prizes instead.
That the U.S., land of opportunity, booted Douglas Prasher (who isolated the gene for the green fluorescent protein) out of science and research is probably more worthy of an editorial reflection and investigation than someone missing the prize. We all have to reflect on this and probably need to take corrective steps to prevent its repetition in the future.
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