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Nobel Jurors Facing Bribery Probe

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the totally-innocent-all-expenses-paid-trips dept.

Media 74

RockDoctor writes "A report is circulating that in the run-up to the selection of prize-winners for 2006 and 2008, some members of the Nobel jury accepted an expenses-paid trip (or trips) to China to 'explain the selection process.' That's not, in itself, an incriminating event ('Is there something that we're doing incorrectly, or not doing?' is a valid question), and if there was dishonorable intent, it doesn't seem to have worked too well (the last Chinese Nobel Laureate was in 1957). There does seem to be embarrassment about falling into an obvious conflict-of-interest mantrap." PhysOrg mentions that a corruption prosecutor is also looking into a Nobel-related sponsorship from a pharmaceutical company that was linked to one of the winners for this year's Medicine prize.

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74 comments

Well, some of the losers are... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26182725)

Haven't read TFA, but apart from potential selected winners, there might be potential losers: i.e. the Nobel laureate in 'peace' from Tibet??

Re:Well, some of the losers are... (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 5 years ago | (#26182765)

I don't know if the 1989 laureate would be eligible for selection again, since he has already been honoured with the prize. Perhaps they are more worried about a leader of some other ethnic group, lest their receipt of the award draw the world's attention to the fact that the Tibetans aren't the only persecuted ethnic group in China.

Nothing new (5, Informative)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | more than 5 years ago | (#26182763)

Almost from the first prize awarded, there have been controversies [wikipedia.org]. This latest round is nothing new, but perhaps remarkable only for its apparent blatentness.

Re:Nothing new (2, Insightful)

vuo (156163) | more than 5 years ago | (#26182795)

True. It has always been a public secret that getting a Nobel prize is all about the connections, knowing the right people. You can't get enough publicity to your work otherwise, and without that, no chance.

Re:Nothing new (0, Flamebait)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183131)

Lets hold out some (false?) hope that it does not get as bad as the International Olympic Committee host country "Selection" process corruption [google.com]
I felt really sorry for all the French waiting out on the streets to celebrate London Vs Paris 2012 Olympic host "Selection" - it was so damn obvious they would not get it from the start. Your country defiantly don't get to host the Olympics for vocally opposing the Rape of Iraq - call it a political knuckle lashing punishment for not bending over, if you will. "Surprise. London won." [foxnews.com] (How about that FOX news story sarcasm, surprise indeed).

But Turkey have played good little lap dogs, pulled their weight in the war effortS though. And Surprise, guess who won the news rights to their blood-money-reward^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Successful Olympic Host Bid , why its Bush families close friend, Ex-Australian con Rupert Murdoch of Fox news fame Fox TV wins Olympic TV rights in Turkey for 2016 games [todayszaman.com]

Anybody who thinks this is not all about backroom deals, political reward and punishment is just too damn naive.

Not to mention Hilleman (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183323)

Funny that article doesn't mention him but just read about this guy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Hilleman [wikipedia.org]

I mean how does a guy that does all that and is still having a huge effect today not win?

Re:Not to mention Hilleman (1)

Ascoo (447329) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183563)

Unfortunately, the Nobel prizes cannot be awarded posthumously, unless they died after the nomination process.

Re:Not to mention Hilleman (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183979)

Well I know that but you'd think with all those acomplishments they could get around to giving him the award while he was alive.(He did live to be 85, it's not like he did that in his 20's and died suddenly.) You'd think they'd (a)notice and (b)give him the award since he obviously deserved it. (But he probably didn't do the right politicking even though by any standard of discovery or achievement the guy should have gotten the award going away.)

It's all about the money (0, Troll)

yog (19073) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183925)

Winning a Nobel prize in any field makes someone pretty much a guaranteed celebrity for the rest of their life. You want your future books to become best sellers? You want a tenured professorship at Harvard with your own research team, plum grad students, no undergraduate teaching duties, and dinner with the President and members of Congress? Win a Nobel.

I would say, the process is guaranteed to be flawed because they can't possibly single out the one person in every field who most deserves such an honor. In the arts, it's a rather arbitrary pick and seems to be colored by politics.

A couple of years ago they picked some writer in England because he was a leftist. They gave Jimmy Carter a prize for supposedly stopping the North Koreans from working on a nuclear bomb, and they just kept right on doing it. It doesn't hurt that Carter hates Israel and regularly visits groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. Oh, for Israel haters it's probably fine but for those who are a bit more skeptical of Carter's intentions and methods, it has greatly demeaned the award.

The sciences are a bit different. But even there, it's difficult to tease out who exactly made complete and original innovations without relying heavily on the brilliant but unsung work of others. The most famous example is Watson, Crick, and Wilkins' discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. Their colleague Rosalind Franklin, who unfortunately died of cancer in 1958, played a key role in this discovery but is virtually unknown today because the Nobel prize is not awarded posthumously.

Einstein said that his accomplishments were "on the shoulders of giants" who came before him. Surely he was being humble but still, that is how science works, and Nobel encourages a notion in the general public's mind that scientists operate in a vacuum.

NOBEL PROMOTES SCIENCE NOT PEOPLE (2, Insightful)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184769)

NOBEL PROMOTES SCIENCE NOT PEOPLE!
AWARDS ARE SYMBOLIC PROMOTIONS of industries, careers, and/or ideals.

NOBEL is more important now more than ever; corrupt or not, we live in an age that idolizes karaoke singers, sports people, actors, and war heroes. Science types complain that we need science to be "cool" and well, this is about all we get.

If you want a wider reaching better award you should look at the "Alternative Nobel" http://www.rightlivelihood.org./ [www.rightlivelihood.org] This award promotes the important yet unrecognized causes without restriction to a few sciences; which arguably are the least important factor to bringing peace to mankind (ex: "The Apple Orange Award".)

I wonder if children ever learn the purpose of scholastic achievement awards? It seems the same psychology works on adults. Different package, same trick. If that doesn't blow your mind, start applying the aspects of this to academia, political offices, or cultural rituals like marriage.

Doesn't matter if some baseball cheater gets in the hall of fame; outside the fanatics, nobody will remember or care except for the few stand outs on the long list of award winners. The symbolic meaning will be maintained and carried on by continually hyping up the new award winners. Sure, too many bad winners hurt the symbol but it takes a lot and people forget quickly...

Parent misses the all the points including his ad-hom attack on Jimmy Carter.

So wrong (2, Insightful)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185839)

Jimmy Carter does not hate Israel. Instead he is simply trying to understand the root of the problem by talking to BOTH sides. Its a really novel concept for most people who seem so involved in what is really a mutual fuck-up. If the world had more people like that this conflict would have been solved years ago. Instead the world is full of people who think like you do- that one side is morally better.

Re:It's all about the money (2, Informative)

ElectricRook (264648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26186137)

The Nobel Jury awarded a peace prize to Fidel Castro. A peace prize for Fidel Castro is like a humanitarian award for Adolf Hitler. Fidel is a Marxist, and the stated goal of Marxists is using violent means to install world-wide Communism. Fidel Castro used military force to keep Cubans prisoner in Cuba, attempting to flee Cuba is punishable by death... how is that different from slavery?

Jimmy Carter was a clown... Not that he intended to be, he set out with good intentions. His fault was that he focused on being a man of peace, bad people used this as leverage against him. Instead of crying to the UN, he should have offered Iran total destruction. The Persian people were supremely embarrassed by the Ayatollah and would have over-thrown him upon an American invasion.

I think in the near future, we are going to see the beginning of Iranian sponsored nuclear catastrophes, and we can follow the trail back to the weakness of "a man of peace".

Re:It's all about the money (2, Informative)

Super_Z (756391) | more than 4 years ago | (#26186473)

The Nobel Jury awarded a peace prize to Fidel Castro. A peace prize for Fidel Castro is like a humanitarian award for Adolf Hitler. Fidel is a Marxist, and the stated goal of Marxists is using violent means to install world-wide Communism. Fidel Castro used military force to keep Cubans prisoner in Cuba, attempting to flee Cuba is punishable by death... how is that different from slavery?

Fidel Castro has never received a Nobel peace price. [nobelpeaceprize.org]
Cuba placed a moratorium on the use of capital punishment in 2001. The rest of your post is just ridicululous.

Castro has a great propaganda machine (1)

ElectricRook (264648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26188411)

Sorry, Castro was nominated for a Nobel, not awarded http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1225478.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Three Afro-Cuban men were executed for "illegal departure" in 2004 http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/americas/04/11/cuba.execution [cnn.com]

Yes Cuba does execute political dissidents http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE7DC123FF931A15752C0A964958260 [nytimes.com]

Re:It's all about the money (1)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | more than 5 years ago | (#26190805)

Actually, Marx merely postulated that revolution to overthrow oppression was inevitable, and that a classless society would also be inevitable. He never said that this was a way to "install world-wide Communism", merely that it was inevitable on a society-by-society basis.

Re:It's all about the money (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26219965)

Actually, Marx merely postulated that revolution to overthrow oppression was inevitable, and that a classless society would also be inevitable.

Hey - that's not fair! You're refuting the poster's claim by referring to the works in question, instead of simply making a knee-jerk, utterly uninformed ejaculation. That's debate, not invective! Why can't you bloody intellectuals stick with facts like the poster's assertion that the Iranian people would welcome an American invasion. They're practically certain to welcome such with blow-jobs and home-baked cookies, just like the Vietnamese did in the late 1950s, like the Afghanistanis have since 2001, and like the Iraqis have in succeeding years. If you keep up talking down the successes of American military interventions, then where are you going to be able to get your poor male population killed off?

Very old joke : Why do the Romanian Secret Police go around in 3s? One can read, one can write, and one is there to keep an eye on those two suspicious intellectuals.
Newer joke (3 weeks old, and which got a laugh from a New Orleans area crane operator, who'd been Tasered last time he was at home) : same joke, but it's the American police, they go around in 4s and the 4th officer is there to provide covering fire.

Re:It's all about the money (2, Interesting)

Chemicalscum (525689) | more than 4 years ago | (#26187171)

"A couple of years ago they picked some writer in England because he was a leftist."

I take it that you are referring to Harold Pinter who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005 the last male British writer to win this prize. This comment just shows how little you know about English literature. Pinter is indisputably the greatest living British playwright and in the view of many including myself, who has been seeing his plays since I was a child, the greatest living playwright in the English language. This indeed does qualify him as a leading contender for the prize which he so deservingly won.

The political controversy over the prize arose because while hospitalized by a serious infection he videotaped his Nobel Prize acceptance lecture "Art, Truth & Politics" from a wheelchair. It was a scathing attack on US war of aggression against Iraq. Any suggestion that the award was made for political reasons is both erroneous and unwarranted. The criticisms of Pinter were that he used his award as a vehicle to put forward his political views. But this comes from those whose job it is to viciously denounce anyone who condemns US foreign policy so in fact it is a compliment. What is a public intellectual for but to criticise the wrongdoings of those in power.

Re:It's all about the money (1)

yog (19073) | more than 5 years ago | (#26230545)

I take it that you are referring to Harold Pinter who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005 the last male British writer to win this prize. This comment just shows how little you know about English literature. Pinter is indisputably the greatest living British playwright and in the view of many including myself, who has been seeing his plays since I was a child, the greatest living playwright in the English language. This indeed does qualify him as a leading contender for the prize which he so deservingly won.

The political controversy over the prize arose because while hospitalized by a serious infection he videotaped his Nobel Prize acceptance lecture "Art, Truth & Politics" from a wheelchair. It was a scathing attack on US war of aggression against Iraq. Any suggestion that the award was made for political reasons is both erroneous and unwarranted. The criticisms of Pinter were that he used his award as a vehicle to put forward his political views. But this comes from those whose job it is to viciously denounce anyone who condemns US foreign policy so in fact it is a compliment. What is a public intellectual for but to criticise the wrongdoings of those in power.

There's a trend with the Nobel committee to nominate people who are anti-American and anti-Zionist. This man fit the bill pretty well--a great writer and a Chomsky-esque, frothing at the mouth idiot.

Consider these pearls from his Nobel "speech" [yahoo.com], which had little to do with literature:

"The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law."

"How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal? One hundred thousand?"

"The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them."

The United States "also has its own bleating little lamb tagging behind it on a lead, the pathetic and supine Great Britain."

OK, moderators will probably rate this posting "troll" as they did my previous one, but that doesn't alter the fact that this man is twisted.

If he could devote one iota of his intellect to addressing the "systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless" crimes of Saddam Hussein, of Osama Bin Laden, of the Islamist imams who brainwash young men into killing themselves and hundreds of innocents along with them--if he displayed the slightest evenhandedness, I would say fine, he was a great playwright who had political opinions.

But he took the low road. The Nobel Prize is, or used to be, a highly prestigious award, and it is a shame that some of its recipients stoop to trashing their political opponents in their acceptance speeches.

Consider another "great" writer, Jose Saramago, who won the Nobel for literature in 1998. From a blog [robertfulford.com] on the subject:

Jose Saramago, the Portuguese novelist who won the Literature Nobel in 1998, visited the Ramallah headquarters of the Palestinian Authority and the late Yasser Arafat (himself, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994). Saramago came out against the Israeli treatment of Palestinians, declaring "What is happening in Palestine is a crime which we can put on the same plane as what happened at Auschwitz." When an Israeli journalist asked him whether he knew of gas chambers in Israel-controlled lands, Saramago replied, "I hope this is not the case. There are so many things being done that have nothing to do with Nazism, but what is happening is more or less the same."

That a talented artist can display such an astonishing a lack of wisdom and understanding is dismaying, but even more dismaying is the fact that the Nobel committee looks past these issues, or perhaps agrees with them and uses them to promote their own, similar world view.

Re:Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26184583)

Integrity: that's what's missing.

Journalists used to at least _pretend_ to be objective, now they fight over who's gonna go with the dark-skinned gentleman who's taking one of his first trips to the war zone, while the other candidate has been there several times.

Scientist (who need to keep the lights on, too) bend their will to the Global Warming(TM) swindle just to keep things going. Some are getting filthy rich.

Politicians WHO CAUSED THE PROBLEM IN THE FIRST PLACE, like Barney Frank and the Democratic Party in Congress claim the emergency requires they need more oversight of the problem.

All these people derive their income at the cost of the truth.

Integrity. That's what's missing in great big buckets. Where'd it all go?

Now we get to the Nobel Commission. Al Gore? Really? For perpetrating an enormous hoax?

So yeah, not surprising. Remember the cries about Iraq being "Oil for Blood!!!!" and it turns out the UN was doing the "Oil for Blood" campaign, making millions while funding tyrannical war, including war on his own citizens, en-masse.

Integrity matters. It's what you do when no one's looking. It's taking the harder of two choices because it's the right thing to do, instead of sliding out of the responsibilites.

But all of this is media:

- When's the last time a 'real', uncompromising hero was depicted on TV? Certainly not Hancock.

- When't the last time a MAN in a commercial wasn't shown to be the fool?

We've been sleep walking as our culture has been under attack.

Re:Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26185137)

Yeah and Henry Kissinger got a peace prize nobody should take Nobel prizes seriously.

The general public is saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26182769)

"So what?"

A meaningless prize has been made more meaningless!

Re:The general public is saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26184273)

Exactly. The Nobel Prize is tremendously overrated and over-hyped. Why should the entire world allow itself to be so entranced by the egotistical whim of some former wealthy industrialist?

If the Chinese desire to be recognized, they, just like anyone else, could create their own prestigious prize. After all, these awards do not emanate from "God" or other transcendent entity; they are solely the design (a.k.a. meaningless caprice) of ordinary men.

How common is this form of 'corruption'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26182773)

If a politician working on development aid extends an offer to a select number of journalists to travel with him, all expenses paid, on the understanding that they will write about the aid work, should this be considered corruption as well, and an attempt to influence the journalists to write more positively?

I ask because the government of Norway recently did it.

*yawn* Let's go shopping! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26182779)

I thought everybody already knew that anything's for sale. It's just a question of haggling the price.

For example, you can for example buy an international standards organization, if you'd like one. Ask M$.

Too bad there's no nobel award for resisting corruption.

Re:*yawn* Let's go shopping! (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26182793)

Ok let's haggle. How much do you want for that spare "example"?

Re:*yawn* Let's go shopping! (1)

ElectricRook (264648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26186167)

For the favor of a pint or two of a nice smokey Porter, perhaps, I could think up some nice awards for your excellency...

Re:*yawn* Let's go shopping! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26182799)

Sounds Good
Time to start a prize for being a good guy; at the same time you have to turn in the corrupt person bribing you; to be eligible.
and NO you get no $ for doing/winning it!
Sign me up! I'll snitch on ANYONE!!!

3..2..1..Que (5, Funny)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26182785)

...Al Gore jokes and conspiracy theories.

Re:3..2..1..Cue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183091)

The wingnuts have already started, saying that Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, and Yasser Arafat must all have paid for their Nobel Peace Prizes. Funny how they don't accuse Kissinger, Andrei Sakharov, Begin, Rabin, and Peres, or Lech Walesa.

Oh, and the word is cue.

Re:3..2..1..Cue (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184999)

Oh, and the word is cue.

I thought he was employing a little spanglish and asking a question. "Que Al Gore jokes and conspiracy theories?"

I get a story idea (5, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26182817)

How about a movie about that? Oh, and I already have the idea for the sequel. A movie about the movie about the hollywood conspiracy and how the movie didn't get a single Oscar nomination despite great reviews.

All rights reversed.

A joke! (1)

mistersooreams (811324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26182919)

Sounds like the jury got nobled!

No wait. Nobbled. The jury got nobbled. ...

Okay this joke didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped.

So that's what they call it these days (1)

mind21_98 (18647) | more than 5 years ago | (#26182925)

Meanwhile, I "explained the selection process" to your mom last night. ;)

But really, there needs to be a bit more transparency for stuff like this.

Bah! Humbug. (4, Insightful)

redelm (54142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26182941)

Modern "Portfolio" Theory has received at least three Nobels. [ft.com] Yet MPT has lead directly and predictably (no fat tails) to the financial crisis.

I'm very unimpressed and becoming highly cynical on what passes for "accepted science." There seems to be a strengthening political element. Quite obvious in the case of Global Warming.

Re:Bah! Humbug. (3, Informative)

teg (97890) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183055)

Modern "Portfolio" Theory has received at least three Nobels. Yet MPT has lead directly and predictably (no fat tails) to the financial crisis.

There is no "Nobel Prize" in economics. You've only got "The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel". As for the peace price, it has had its scope extended a bit - e.g. Al Gore. There's no doubt that setting focus on the problem of increased global warming caused by humans is important, and that this eventually will cause a many conflicts, wars and turmoils (scarcity of water, some countries being submerged etc...). But it's extremely proactive, and he didn't solve the problem - he just helped drawing people's attention to it.

Re:Bah! Humbug. (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183365)

Yes, the Nobel in economics isn't one of the originals. However, it _is_ selected by much the same method. And I fully expect science to evolve, including new areas.

Re:Bah! Humbug. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183801)

A hint: the place where you went wrong is the bit where you started thinking about Economics as a "science".

Things will start making a great deal more sense when you chuck it back into the "philosophy with practitioners who like to throw math around because it makes them feel rigorous" category.

Re:Bah! Humbug. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#26186849)

A hint: Don't post too much about things you understand nothing about.

(In your post this would be economics, science, philosophy, mathematics and rigor - and the interaction between them.)

Re:Bah! Humbug. (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184141)

Did you bother reading the article cited?It covered the fact that there is no Nobel prize for economics.

Re:Bah! Humbug. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#26187237)


You've only got "The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel"

Right.. With a name like that I just can't understand why people would commonly refer to it as "The Nobel prize in Economics".

As for the peace prize, it has had its scope extended a bit

The peace prize has always been strange and political, and often not given to people who "solved the problem". Henry Kissinger got the thing in 1973.. not exactly a guy you associate with peace. Yassir Arafat got it in 1994.

I don't think the role has really changed with Al Gore either. Linus Pauling got the peace prize in 1962 for raising awareness of nuclear weapon testing. A partial test ban on above ground testing wasn't signed until 1963. France only stoped in 1974, and it took China until 1980. So there's definite precedent set for people raising awareness of a cause getting the prize.

Re:Bah! Humbug. (3, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183061)

Please note that economics is not a real Nobel Prize- it's an award that the bank which runs the Nobel fund decided to start giving out, and named it similarly. Probably due to fragile egos about not being real scientists.

Re:Bah! Humbug. (2, Insightful)

Sapphon (214287) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184073)

Probably due to fragile egos about not being real scientists.

Yeah, because "Peace" and "Literature" are both much more scientific than Economics. It also doesn't seem to bother the judges from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, who choose the winners in the fields of Chemistry, Physics, and.. err.. Economics. How about that.

Re:Bah! Humbug. (1)

rhizome (115711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185105)

Yeah, because "Peace" and "Literature" are both much more scientific than Economics. It also doesn't seem to bother the judges from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, who choose the winners in the fields of Chemistry, Physics, and.. err.. Economics.

You're confusing the purpose (and selection) of the prize with the motivations of the contestants.

NOPE its much more conspiratorial (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184877)

The bankers conspired to leverage the symbolic POWER of Nobel to promote their economic agenda to the world by creating a FAKE NOBEL for economics. The kind of economics that most benefit themselves (bankers) is their motivation in its creation and that bias remains in their selection of winners.

Re:Bah! Humbug. (2, Funny)

bagsc (254194) | more than 5 years ago | (#26190577)

Not scientists? Listen buddy - Go outside and ask a random person if they'd rather observe a Higgs boson or a million dollars in their bank account. And remember that to economists, a million dollars is never a significant figure.

Physicists have a good year when they can get a thousand observations of the value of c. Economists have a bad year if they only get a quadrillion observations of the value of a dollar.

If physicists want to run an experiment, they just have to manipulate a few particles. If economists want to run an experiment, we have to manipulate Congress.

If physicists make a mistake in an experiment, maybe a few thousand people die in a lab explosion. If economists make a mistake in an experiment, maybe a few hundred million people die in an economic implosion.

If a physicist makes an important discovery, he can create a billion dollar industry. If an economist makes an important discovery, he can create a trillion dollar industry.

That being said, you are right about the fragile egos :)

Re:Bah! Humbug. (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185851)

Well if you don't consider global warming to be "accepted science" then I really don't think you have much of a hold on the concept of science at all. 10 years ago maybe, but now you seem like a flat earther.

Re:Bah! Humbug. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26188127)

The current financial mess has nothing to do with bad theory. It has a lot to do with greed, irrationality, bad assumptions, etc. The theory is reasonably sound, the practice of that theory is not.

Re:Bah! Humbug. (1)

bagsc (254194) | more than 5 years ago | (#26190471)

Portfolio theory, as a theory, works remarkably well 99% of the time. Your argument is like complaining quantum physics should have no Nobel prizes because it doesn't explain dark matter.

Not what they used to be (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183075)

With the advent of corporation, awards for achievement aren't nearly as useful as they used to be.

We should do away with all awards and base everything on how much money corporations make, at least that way everyone's on the same page.

What about Krugman? (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183099)

Did somebody buy his award, or was the committee having a joke like when they gave awards to Kissinger and Arafat?

-jcr

Well there's an upside to Arafat winning (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183363)

Because of that I've logically concluded that I am also a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Here's my proof

I've done nothing for peace

That's more than Arafat who's fought against peace

Arafat has won a peace prize

If an award was given to someone and someone else actually did more to deserve it then the other person must have won it as well

Therefore since I've done more for peace than Arafat has ever done I must also be a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

I still haven't gotten it yet though. (I've got 2 hypothesises on that. 1 is that it was lost in the mail. The other is the committee is working alphabetically and hasn't even gotten out of the 'A' yet.)

Re:Well there's an upside to Arafat winning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26184729)

I've done nothing for peace

That's more than Arafat who's fought against peace

Arafat has won a peace prize

Funny you say that. Maybe 5 years ago I was in the Paris airport, and they were were having a Nobel exhibit. There were large posters of Nobel peace prize winners all over the airport. I found it odd that one of the reasons there is so much security bullshit at airports is being honored in an airport...

Re:What about Krugman? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183395)

You do, of course, realise that the Nobel Peace Prize is mostly a political tool - not that it was intended this way, but Nobel declared in his will that the jury awarding it should be chosen by the Norwegian parliament (no idea what he was thinking there), so it's probably quite understandable that it's a political thing.

Not the same committee (1)

andersh (229403) | more than 5 years ago | (#26188481)

Did somebody buy his award, or was the committee having a joke like when they gave awards to Kissinger and Arafat?

That's not the same committee as we are talking about here. The Norwegian parliament hands out the Peace Prize, the Swedes have all the others.

It's all explained here. [wikipedia.org]

Nothing to see here... move along. (2, Informative)

Emmet Caulfield (267702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183125)

Meh... the Swedes will launch a corruption investigation if a kid gets a penny toffee without paying for it.

And it's no secret that the selection committees have made mistakes in the past (the icepick lobotomy, anyone?) that only become clear with the benefit of hindsight.

In either case, never ascribe to corruption what can be adequately explained by incompetence.

Re:Nothing to see here... move along. (3, Informative)

Husgaard (858362) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183467)

Yes, corruption in Sweden is low, and the tolerance for corruption is low, so it is not unusual for an investigation to be opened if there is just a slight chance there could be corruption.

This started with critical journalism at Sveriges Radio [www.sr.se] (in swedish). Because of the articles, the public prosecutor is now investigating.

Some of the articles are about the etical problems with Honeywell sponsoring. This is not illegal, and I do not think this is being investigated.

The trips to China are being investigated, but I think this will end with the travelers being freed of all accusations.

More problematic is the role of Astra Zeneca. They are also sponsors. And Bo Angelin, who is in the committee that awarded the price in medicine to Harald zur Hausen is also on the board of Astra Zeneca. Harald zur Hausen got the price for research that has been patented by Astra Zeneca.

I Mentioned Something Like This A While Back (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183133)

But it of course was third hand information, which I clearly explained. I was modded into oblivion and called all sorts of terrible names for even trying to say that somehow the judges had less than honorable intentions.

Well, this story is a big fuck you to all those self-righteous assholes who did that. You see, even people in "respected" positions can do bad things too. The judges are no more or less likely to abuse their position than any other person. They are human too. I hope you cock-wipes who go fuck yourselves and die a horrible death.

Nobel Prize has been trouble since its origins (1)

NinthAgendaDotCom (1401899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183147)

Nobel wanted to direct attention away from his role as an armaments manufacturer and the inventor of dynamite, so he came up with the prize. The prize hasn't exactly got a squeaky-clean image even from the beginning.

Re:Nobel Prize has been trouble since its origins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26192309)

He invented dynamite for helping railroad construction and mining etc. and was disgusted by its military use.

The NP has more important problems beyond that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183177)

Remember that the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to a lot of people who clearly didn't deserve it, among them people like Henry Kissinger and Mother Teresa. Unless it can be shown that they obtained their prizes with bribery I think the committee should take a good look at the failings of the selection process itself first.

Hu Jia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183179)

If there were any attempts from China at shaping the judges' selection, why does it have to mean that they were trying to GET an award? Couldn't it be possible that they were trying to PREVENT [guardian.co.uk] one? If that's the case, it seems they could have been successful [nobelprize.org]. (that is, if Hu Jia would have been a contender against Martti Ahtisaari)

Didn't Henry Kissinger win a Nobel Peace Prize? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183243)

I mean damn, no shit there's bribery involved. That piece of shit Kissinger went to town for Nixon and many other corrupt and violent leaders.

Re:Didn't Henry Kissinger win a Nobel Peace Prize? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183401)

Wow, I had no idea! Thanks for educating me. I just lost all respect for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Links for the lazy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_Peace_Prize_Laureates [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Kissinger#Accusations_of_war_crimes_and_legal_difficulties [wikipedia.org]

Re:Didn't Henry Kissinger win a Nobel Peace Prize? (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184123)

Well to be fair the guy he won it with, Le Duc Tho, actually turned it down. (Sounds like he had more sense than the committee.)

Bribed to NOT Give prize to Chinese Dissidents (-1, Troll)

sonnejw0 (1114901) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183275)

There has been an on-going scandal, actually, that the Nobel committee is reticent to award the Peace Prize to a well deserved individual, jailed by the Chinese government for dissidence and crimes against the state, human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng and environmental activist Hu Jia. The bribes were most assuredly given in order that these Chinese freedom activists would be shot down for the award in favor of the Norwegian Ahtisaari. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-10-10-935738050_x.htm [usatoday.com] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_Zhisheng [wikipedia.org] ---- Sonne Times: Social and Political Commentary http://jsonne.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:Bribed to NOT Give prize to Chinese Dissidents (1)

Jeian (409916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26184297)

Minor nitpick: Ahtisaari is Finnish, not Norwegian.

Re:Bribed to NOT Give prize to Chinese Dissidents (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26184845)

As someone mentioned above the judges that went to China was for "medicine, chemistry and physics committees", not peace. RTA

Who should really get a Nobel... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183429)

"I'm very unimpressed and becoming highly cynical on what passes for "accepted science." There seems to be a strengthening political element. Quite obvious in the case of Global Warming."

Indeed. If there was a Nobel prize for upholding the fundamental values of science - openness, curiosity, independence, experiment and the Popperian concept of falibility, that prize would surely go to Steve MacIntyre, who has spent ten years of his life in a battle with the entire scientific establishment in an effort to get them to do proper science.

Along the way he has disproved fundamental tenets of Global Warming, exposed fraud and collusion, and improved our knowledge of real climate statistics immensely. He has spent thousands of his own dollars on replicating experiments which were misleading, but which the establishment relied on and didn't want exposed as wrong. Single-handedly, he has opened up dendrochronology and shown how many influences other than temperature can affect the rings. He has fought scientific statisticians at the highest level and won. He was responsible for the Wegman committee investigation into the hockey-stick, at which all his accusations were justified.

Given the way establishment prizes are awarded, I susopect Steve would turn down a Nobel if offered by the current regime...

Re:Who should really get a Nobel... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26183649)

Here is a layman's guide to some of the fraudulent activity which was used to suppress some of Steve's findings.

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html

Ok, let's get it out there... (1, Insightful)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26183573)

The last people we'd expect bribery and government corruption from is China, right? /sarcasm

But... who better to explain how to win a Nobel prize than members of the Nobel selection committee? Obviously, this could be misconstrued as a conflict of interest, but this sounds more like information gathering than anything all that nefarious.

China's government is obviously interested in stepping up it's cultural and political clout in the world. That's what hosting the Olympics are all about for them (and Government sponsorship of athletes ensures they take home more medals than anyone else). The Nobel prizes are very prestigious, and naturally China would like to claim this prestige for its own, and are interested in finding out how they can maximize their chances for winning a prize.

I doubt it's anything more than some bad judgment, but I guess we'll see.

The Nobel Prize is awarded by humans after all (1)

Laxator2 (973549) | more than 5 years ago | (#26185135)

Is anyone surprised ? Check out this year's Physics Nobel prize. Disgusting publicity stunt for LHC, so that it will continue to get funding despite the setbacks and the fact that it will most probably find nothing at all. When the most powerful machine was able to reach only about 40GeV, all the theoretical models were showing irefutable evidence that the top quark had a mass of about 45GeV. The 2004 Nobel Prize (Physics again) ? The idea belonged to Sidney Coleman who was honest enough not to put his name on a paper where all the work was done by his student (Politzer), but David Gross had no problem stealing the idea and adding his name to the paper written by his student (Wilczek). Not to say that Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered the pulsars, but it was her advisor Antony Hewish who got the Nobel Prize even though he was incapable to recognize the value of her work and just discarded her data as just plain wrong. There are other examples, bu these are the most obvious ones I know about. Is anyone surprised about the bribery probe ? I certainly am surprised that this was not kept under the wraps and was made public.
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