• Question: who wants a nobel prize?

    Asked by edwardcullen to Cesar, Emily, Jamie, Kate, Philippa on 14 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Kate Clancy

      Kate Clancy answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      Me, duh! 😉

      To be honest, I’m not sure that the kind of science I do would ever win me a Nobel Prize. I’m not going to discover or invent anything. Instead, my job is to push boundaries and encourage people to think outside of what they know and think is normal. If I’m lucky, one day when I’m old and gray I might get inducted into the National Academy of Sciences… but that is very much a long shot as well!

      What would be more exciting to me would to be one of the people who encouraged a student to pursue her or his dream to be a scientist, and then THEY won a Nobel Prize. So maybe that means YOU need to win one, not me!

    • Photo: Cesar Lopez-Monsalvo

      Cesar Lopez-Monsalvo answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      I want a Noble prize!! But that is tricky. Nobel prizes are awarded for discoveries (at least the science related Nobel prizes) that change or contribute in a significant manner to our understanding of nature. Winning one not only requires loads of hard work but also a bit of luck. There is a famous-ish rant by Stephen Hawking about it:

      …[while talking about the big bang] This is a discovery far more important than a few miscellaneous unstable particles, but not one that has been so well recognized by Nobel Prizes…

      It also takes a bit of time to get one, but it is worth the wait…if it eventually comes. I do want a Noble Prize!!!

    • Photo: Jamie Gallagher

      Jamie Gallagher answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      Oh most people want one- remember its not just scientists who get them though. You also get a handy million pounds too.
      The best way to win one is to work for someone who has won one before. It also helps if your dad was given one too. There have been a few father and sons who have each one. Only one Mother daughter team as of yet though- Marie Currie’s daughter also got one.

      So basically everyone wants one, few get them and if your offering I’ll be the first line!

    • Photo: Philippa Demonte

      Philippa Demonte answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      @edwardcullen Who wants a nobel prize? Not quite everyone. Go look up Jocelyn Bell Burnell. She is an amazing scientist who discovered pulsars (rapidly spinning neutron stars) whilst she was a student at Cambridge University. Unfortunately for her, her advisor (lecturer) took all the credit and won a Nobel prize. Amazingly Jocelyn is not bitter; in fact she is very humble and says that the personal satisfaction of discovering something new in science means more to her than any prize itself.

    • Photo: Emily Robinson

      Emily Robinson answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      Honestly as I am still a very young scientist there are some more immediate goals for me… like finishing my PhD, presenting my work at an international conference and getting published. I don’t want to run before I can walk. Ultimately I just want to make a difference and if that ends up with a Nobel prize then I won’t complain (actually I would be over the moon) but who knows what the future holds! Fingers crossed!