Nature Chemistry | The Sceptical Chymist

Where’s my Nobel fix?

It’s getting to be that time of year again…

With no odds (or anything else for that matter) posted on ChemBark and Thomson seemingly not making any predictions this year, where do I go for my Nobel Prize gossip?

Well, it seems as though medGadget has come to the rescue, and is running a ‘Guess-A-Nobel’ contest’ – just leave a comment on their blog post with your picks for who will win the Chemistry (or Physics or Physiology/Medicine) prize and you could win an iPod nano (or two or three).

Amongst the guesses for the chemistry prize, Whitesides is getting some attention, with two votes, and Tsien also has two votes (along with others for using fluorescent tags to monitor proteins). Ken Houk – one of my former UCLA colleagues – also gets a mention.

One of the suggested winners is a bit of a long shot if you ask me – not only has John Pople already won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his development of computational methods (and winning two Nobels is rare – Curie, Pauling, Sanger and Bardeen are the only individuals to achieve this feat), but he died in 2004, which is the bigger handicap, because Nobel Prizes aren’t handed out posthumously.

So, go along to medGadget and leave your picks – and while you’re at it, leave us a comment here to let us know who you think will win – no iPods up for grabs, but the respect of the Sceptical Chymist audience awaits…

UPDATE: Thomson must have put up their picks today… – they weren’t there yesterday when I checked. They’ve gone for Lieber or Matyjaszewski or Tsien (doesn’t seem fair that they get three picks).


Stuart Cantrill (Chief Editor, Nature Chemistry)


  1. Report this comment

    excimer said:

    Oh, that’d be awesome if Matyjaszewski won. He’s had such a huge influence on polymer chemistry, but I feel like he won’t get it because Grubbs won already for ROMP. But seeing as they haven’t given the chemistry nobel to a biologist in, like, TWO YEARS… don’t expect a chemist to win it this year. Tsien seems like a good choice nevertheless.

  2. Report this comment

    WEI Hui said:

    (1) Chemistry

    George Whitesides

    Sir J. Fraser Stoddart

    (2) Physics

    S. Iijima

    (3) Physiology or Medicine

    Roger Tsien

    Robert Weinberg

    Jack Szostak

  3. Report this comment

    Neil said:

    At the Inorganic Materials conference I was at this week, I raised this topic at the dinner and provoked some interesting and lively discussion!

    One particularly striking comment was that it was often awarded for ‘work done a while ago that’s now so standard in textbooks that you forget someone actually had to do it originally’. Which I first took to be a bit disparaging, until I realised that makes a vast amount of sense – the work was obviously of such importance that it’s stood the test of time and is now taken as an established fact.

    Anyway, I think the consensus (other than that it would probably be another biologist) was that John Goodenough is well over-due some Swedish recognition, so that’s where my vote goes.

  4. Report this comment

    psi*psi said:

    I’m going to have to agree with Neil—this is the first time I’ve even heard Goodenough’s name mentioned in relation to this year’s Nobel, but I think I have to go with solid state over polymer chemistry. (Sorry, Excimer!)

  5. Report this comment

    Catherine said:

    It does kind of blow my mind that Whitesides hasn’t gotten it yet.

  6. Report this comment

    Gus Musselmann said:

    Y’all crezzy. Whitesides ain’t gettin’ no Nobel.

  7. Report this comment

    Neil said:

    For those of you who just CAN’T WAIT to find out who wins using such old-fashioned and slow methods as a blog or even a news website, the Nobel Prize people are using Twitter.

    Now, as much as I love all that web 2.0 stuff, I’m not sure I can bring myself to get properly into Twitter, so I’ve just added the RSS feed to my reader of choice.

    Spotter’s Badge to David Bradley at Sciencebase.

  8. Report this comment

    David Bradley said:

    Despite Simon Frantz’s best efforts to web-2.0-ify the Nobels, I bet there were millions of us still hitting F5 on the announcement page. I’d already written my post, and it was just a case of plugging in the names as soon as they appeared. So, thanks for the Spotter’s Badge!