The Sceptical Chymist | The Stockholm syndrome

Published in Chemistry

Well, it’s that time of year again. In less than a month’s time, we’ll have a few more Nobel prize winners on our hands – and so the speculation begins…

For the last few years, Thomson Scientific has been predicting who will win the Nobel prize in each of four subjects (Chemistry, Physics, Medicine and Economics*) based upon citations (amongst other things) to their work. Last year, was the first time they correctly predicted the Chemistry prize by naming Grubbs – although, to be honest, the guy from the taco truck in old town Pasadena could have made that pick…

This year, it’s out with the old and in with the new. Gone are the usual picks such as Whitesides, Stoddart and Shinkai (also Nicolaou is missing), and we are presented with three possible winning combinations.

1. Tobin Marks (Northwestern) for a mixture of all things organometallicky** and some materials work

2. Dave Evans and Steve Ley (Cambridge, over there and over here) for synthetic organic chemistry

3. Gerald Crabtree (Stanford) and Stuart Schreiber (Harvard) for chemical biology

Let’s just say that I would be a little surprised if any of these worthy candidates came out on top this year. And as for pick 2, there’s probably a few other synthetic people out there feeling a little left out right about now.

So, who will win. Paul at The Endless Frontier has something to say on the matter – what about you?


Stuart Cantrill (Associate Editor, Nature Nanotechnology)

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