Tuesday, October 05, 2010

So far, so wrong

The Thomson Reuters 2010 Nobel predictions, that is.

They predicted this for medicine - this is how it actually turned out. And this for physics - and this is how it turned out.

Update (5 October 2010):

In response to my initial post (above), I received the following email from David Pendlebury of Thomson Reuters (published with his permission):
Subject: Re: Actually, Thomson Reuters picked Geim and Novoselov to win the Nobel in 2008


I just wanted to point out that those scientists named in previous years as Citation Laureates are still considered contenders for the Nobel Prize. We do not really expect that our selections will win the Nobel Prize in the same year they are named. Here is our 2008 press release: http://science.thomsonreuters.com/press/2008/8481910/

Best wishes, David Pendlebury
To which I replied:
My remarks were, of course, somewhat tongue in cheek. The sheer number of worthy discoveries and discoverers (compared to available prizes), and the various factors and actors at play in the nomination and selection process, make any kind of year-to-year prediction of Nobel Prizes nigh on impossible (at least, in the sciences!). I daresay many of the contenders identified by your analyses over the years, worthy though they most certainly are, will never win the Nobel Prize. I recognise that this is through no fault of theirs or of Thomson Reuters.

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