Bringing the Text to Life
This month, the winners of the 2008 Nobel Prizes in the fields of chemistry, physics, medicine, economics, literature and peace will be announced. If these announcements are received as they often are, there may be a cacophonous chorus of puzzlement, second-guessing, disparagement or disagreement. This dissonance comes from observers, informed and otherwise.
The reasons for this are varied. In some cases it’s a recognition that there were many contributors to the particular advance in knowledge that led to the awarding of a prize, and since the Nobel rules say that a prize cannot be split more than three ways, informed observers sometimes argue about which three are selected. Other times the dissension is over persons and achievements that are ignored altogether in the awards. Still others will claim that the chosen individual doesn’t truly deserve the prize.
A recent study of the Nobel Prize selection process reveals another reason for this discord as well: Over the years, ...