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10 Scientists Robbed of a Nobel Prize

LordZB . . . Comments

To win a Nobel Prize is the ultimate accolade for a scientist. However, the Nobel prizes have rules which sometimes lead to people being overlooked for a prize: prizes may only be awarded to those still alive at the time of awarding, and no more than three people can share any one prize. This has led to some scientists, who many feel have contributed significantly to their field, never receiving a Nobel Prize. Of course, this list is highly subjective but I hope I can make good cases that the following were all deserving of a Nobel Prize.

10

Andrew Benson
Carbon fixation in plants

Fig03-Calvin-Benson

All biology students, at some point, will have to study the Calvin cycle. This is the series of reactions which occur in plants that allow for the fixation of carbon dioxide. These reactions, which occur in chloroplasts, are the source of energy for plants. Understanding this route of carbon dioxide fixation is vital to understanding life on Earth.

The Calvin cycle was elucidated by the use of radioactive molecules to allow the steps in the cycle to be understood. Using carbon-14 carbon dioxide, the route of carbon transfer could be followed from the atmosphere to the final carbohydrate products. This work was carried out by Melvin Calvin, Andrew Benson (pictured – right) and James Bassham. When the Nobel Prize was awarded for this stellar work, in 1961, it went to Calvin alone. Some unpleasantness appears to have occurred between Benson and Calvin, for when Calvin published his autobiography he does not mention Benson at all, despite mentioning many other people he worked with. There is ample evidence of the contribution which Benson made, and so this slight is hard to explain. To give some credit to Benson some scientists refer to the Calvin cycle as the Benson-Calvin cycle. Those who do research today in photosynthesis most commonly refer to the cycle as the C3 cycle; an elegant name for an elegant cycle.

9

Dmitri Mendeleev
Periodic table of the elements

Dmendeleev

Mendeleev was not the first person to make a table of the elements, nor the first to suggest a periodicity in the chemical properties of the elements. Mendeleev’s achievement was to define this periodicity and draw up a table of the elements according to it, which gave accurate predictions of future discoveries. Other attempts at making such a table had included all known elements, but ended up distorted as they left no space for unknown elements. Mendeleev left blank spaces in his table where other, then undiscovered elements, should fit. For these blank spaces it was possible, from the now recognized periodicity, to predict many things about their chemical and physical properties. This periodic law is basic to chemistry and physics.

Mendeleev lived until 1907, and so there was ample time for him to be awarded a Nobel Prize for his work. In fact, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1906, and it was thought he would win. However Arrhenius, who some thought bore a grudge against Mendeleev, pushed for the award to go to Henri Moissan for his work with fluorine. Whether or not there was a grudge between the two men; Mendeleev died in 1907, and so became ineligible for the Prize.

As a side note, another scientist should be credited with devising a periodic table of the elements, Julius Lothar Meyer. He came up with a periodic table a few months after Mendeleev, that was almost identical to the Russian’s. He was recognized by many at the time as having achieved almost as much as Mendeleev. However, Meyer died in 1895 and so was never eligible for the Nobel Prize.


8

Fred Hoyle
Stellar nucleosynthesis

Hoyle Fred

Fred Hoyle is perhaps best known for his coining of the term ‘Big Bang’ to describe the beginning of the universe. His intent was to mock those who proposed that the universe had a definite beginning, and that it all started with a big bang. Hoyle’s contribution to science was to suggest a source for the heavier elements that exist in the universe. How is it that hydrogen and helium are converted into the heavier elements which exist? Hoyle first suggested that the conversion takes place inside stars, where the energy required for this nuclear fusion is possible. The theory of stellar nucleosynthesis was laid out in a groundbreaking paper called “Synthesis of the Elements in Stars.” Hoyle was a coauthor on that paper, with Margaret Burbidge, Geoffrey Burbidge, and William Fowler. In 1983, Fowler shared the Nobel Prize for Physics with Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar for the theory of element formation by fusion in stars.

Many people have given theories on why Hoyle was not included in the Nobel Prize. He was an early proponent of the theory, and he did a great deal of the work in the theoretical physics, so it is strange Hoyle was neglected. Hoyle was known for supporting unpopular theories which may have harmed his chances of selection. His rejection of the big bang theory of the creation of the universe was probably a factor in his absence from the Nobel Prize. Hoyle was also hostile to the idea of chemical evolution leading to the generation of life, a key feature of evolutionary theory. This has led to him becoming well-quoted amongst the intelligent design rabble.

7

Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Pulsars

Bell Burnell Bw 1

Pulsars were discovered by accident, when radio-emissions from stars were being studied to look for scintillation caused by solar wind. For this study, a large radio telescope was required. Jocelyn Bell, as a PhD student, helped in constructing this telescope over four acres of field using a thousand posts and over 120 miles of wire. Bell’s project involved monitoring reams of paper for scintillating radio sources. It was while examining this data, that Bell noticed an anomaly which she decided required further study. When this anomaly was recorded in more detail it showed a regular pulse of 1.3 seconds. When Bell showed this to her supervisor, Antony Hewish, it was dismissed as man-made interference. 1.3 seconds was considered too short a time period for something as large as a star to do anything. Famously, the signal was dubbed LGM-1 (Little Green Men–1). When other regular pulses were discovered in different parts of the sky, it became clear that the radio pulses were natural. These sources were termed pulsars, short for pulsating stars.

For his work in radio astronomy and, specifically, “his decisive role in the discovery of pulsars” Hewish was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics, in 1974. Hewish shared the prize with another radio astronomer, but Bell was not given a share, despite her definite role in their discovery and her dogged pursuit of the anomalous signal, leading to discovery of the first four pulsars. While many feel Bell was hard done by, she has, herself, spoken in support of the Nobel committee’s choice.

6

Nikola Tesla
Radio communication

Tes1B

The 1909 Nobel Prize for physics went to Guglielmo Marconi, for his work with radio communication. There is no doubt that Marconi did important work in the development of radio, and developed a law relating the height of a radio antenna to the distance it may broadcast. Marconi is known as the father of long distance radio communication. However, there is good reason to suggest that the prize should have been shared with Nikola Tesla.

Tesla has taken on an almost mythic status with all manner of strange stories adhering to the, admittedly eccentric, inventor. Tesla began lecturing about using radio communication in 1891, and began demonstrating devices using wireless telegraphy soon after. Between 1898 and 1903, Tesla was granted several patents to protect his inventions relating to radio. Patent law is complex, and it was not until the 1940s that US courts acknowledged that Tesla’s work pre-dated that of Marconi. So Tesla has a very good case for being included in the 1909 Nobel Prize which went to Marconi.

Of course, Tesla did work in a number of other fields where he might have qualified for a Nobel Prize. Tesla is most famous for his role in the development of alternating current and its transmission using high voltage gained through dynamos. Tesla’s great rival was Thomas Edison who championed DC electricity. It is said, though hard to confirm, that the rivalry between the two led to both being denied Nobel Prizes. Neither would accept a Prize if the other was honored first and they would never share one, so neither was ever honored with one.

5

Albert Schatz
Streptomycin

220Px-Schatz001A

Tuberculosis was once one of the major deadly infections mankind suffered from. With the coming of penicillin in the 1940s, it seemed that the age of bacterial infection was coming to an end. Unfortunately, penicillin is ineffective against the bacterium which causes TB. This is because there is a divide in bacteria based on their cell wall structure; Gram-positive (those with thick walls) and Gram-negative (those with thin walls). Penicillin works on Gram-positive, but not Gram-negative bacteria, like TB. An antibiotic was needed which would kill those bacteria. It was this aim which Schatz, as a young researcher, pursued. Schatz grew a large number of strains of Streptomyces bacteria, and tested them for antibiotic properties against Gram-negative bacteria. After just a few months, Schatz had his antibiotic, which he named streptomycin. It would prove to be effective against TB and a range of other penicillin-resistant bacteria.

In 1952, Schatz’ supervisor, Selman Waksman, was awarded the Nobel Prize “for his discovery of Streptomycin.” While some have argued the award was, in fact, for Waksman’s wider scientific work, the Prize commendation says otherwise. Schatz had been convinced to sign away his rights to the patent over Streptomycin, and in the press it was Waksman who gained all of the credit. Schatz sued Waksman for his share of the royalties of streptomycin, and was officially credited as co-discoverer. That was in 1950, but he was still denied a share of the Nobel.


4

Chien-Shiung Wu
Parity violation

225Px-Wu Chien-Shiung

The law of parity in quantum mechanics was accepted as true for years. The law of parity, very simply (I should say I’m not a physicist by trade), states that physical systems which are the mirror image of each other should behave identically. The law of parity holds true for three fundamental forces: electromagnetism, gravity and the strong nuclear force. Two scientists suggested that the law of conservation of parity would not be true for the weak nuclear force; Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen-Ning Yang.

For their work on disproving parity in the weak nuclear force Lee and Yang were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1957. The experimental proof of their theory was provided by Chien-Shiung Wu. Wu designed and carried out the measurements of beta-decay which proved that parity is not conserved in the weak nuclear force. Since there was a spare space on the Nobel Prize awarded for proof of parity violation and Wu’s work was vital for the acceptance of non-parity it does seem strange that she was not given a share of the award.

3

Oswald Avery
Heritability through DNA

Hsoswald

Modern biology is unthinkable without DNA and genetics. Today we know that DNA and genetics are intimately linked, but at the beginning of the twentieth century it was thought that the molecule which transmitted heritable traits was probably a form of protein. Others had theorized about what the molecule of inheritance would be like, and proof existed that it could be altered by exposure to X-rays, but no one knew what it was until the Avery–MacLeod–McCarty experiment. The experiment showed that a molecule in heat killed bacteria could be transferred to living bacteria and transform them. This work gave the opportunity to isolate the molecule of heritability from the heat killed bacteria. The molecule they identified as able to transform the bacteria proved to be DNA. This was the fist time that a molecule had been shown to definitely have a role in heritability.

Some historians of science have questioned whether the work of Avery was as important as it appears in retrospect; DNA was not conclusively proved to be the general molecule of inheritance in all living things. The paper certainly did not cause a huge academic stir but it was well received and appears to have influenced other researchers. Even if the work were restricted to its strict findings on the transmission of lethality between bacteria it surely merited consideration for a Nobel Prize in Medicine. It is on the basis that his work stands alone that I include Avery and not because he was overlooked for the later DNA based Nobel Prizes.


2

Douglas Prasher
Green Fluorescent Protein

20110125 Douglasprasher 0255

Many organisms are bioluminescent but it is the glowing jellyfish Aequorea victoria that has most aided biology. In protein biochemistry it is often important to know where a protein is located within a cell. The green fluorescent protein (GFP) isolated from A. victoria has allowed researchers to image cells and with very simple techniques to see where specific proteins are. GFP is so important because it is stable, works within living cells, and can be used as a simple test of whether your genetic manipulation has worked – Does your sample glow when a specific wavelength of light is shone on it? The cloning of GFP and its DNA sequence was done by Douglas Prasher in 1992. Since then GFP has become one of the most used tools in the biology toolkit.

In 2008 the Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three other researchers who had improved GFP as a biochemical tool. By this time Prasher had left academia and was working as a bus driver. All three laureates agreed that Prasher’s role had been vital and all three thanked him in their Nobel speeches. They paid for Prasher and his wife to attend the Nobel ceremony. Prasher has since returned to academia.

1

Lise Meitner
Nuclear fission

Lise Meitner

Nuclear fission is the splitting of an atomic nucleus into lighter nuclei, often with the release of neutrons as well. Since fission can occur via the bombardment of nuclei with neutrons this can lead to a chain reaction where one splitting nucleus gives out neutrons which cause more fission events, which give out neutrons which cause more atomic splitting, and so on. Fission is accompanied by a release of energy and so chain reactions can be used to generate electricity in nuclear power plants or be used to create atomic bombs. This splitting of atoms by bombardment with neutrons was discovered in 1938 when Otto Hahn discovered that the product of fission of uranium was barium. This led to a realization that the products of nuclear fission are lighter than the original atom.

It was Lise Meitner, then living in Sweden as a consequence of the anti-Jewish laws in Germany, and her nephew Otto Frisch who explained that some of the missing mass in nuclear fission was converted to energy. According to Einstein’s famous equation if you convert a small amount of mass you get an enormous amount of energy. For her theoretical work and interpretation of the results of Hahn’s experiments it is widely thought that Meitner deserved a share of the Nobel Prize awarded to Hahn in 1944.

+

Ralph Steinman
awarded Nobel after his death

Ralphsteinman

Half of the Nobel Prize for Medicine this year was awarded to Ralph Steinman for his discovery of the role of dendritic cells in adaptive immunity. These cells help regulate the body’s immune response by capturing and presenting antigens from pathogens to white blood cells. They also stop the body from erroneously recognizing itself as a pathogen. This work has had, and will continue to have, huge repercussions in everything from organ donation, autoimmune diseases, and vaccine development. All in all a well deserved Nobel Prize.

Unfortunately Professor Steinman died three days before the awarding of the prize by the Nobel Committee, who did not learn of his death until after the announcement of the award. This lead to some hasty examinations of the Nobel charter. It was ultimately decided that since the prize had been awarded in good faith that Steinman was still alive the award would stand.

It is likely that several of the treatments Professor Steinman was receiving for the pancreatic cancer which killed him would have been directly influenced by his work and kept him alive sufficiently long to, just, be eligible for the prize.



  • YouRang?

    Rosalind Franklin?

    • toto6120

      Unfortunately Rosie Franklin died in 1958 and the award was given in 1962. Psthumous awards are forbidden and so she missed out. However, having said that, there is little chance that she would have been awarded the medal along with Watson and Crick. Watson and Crick drew heavily on Franklins work using x-ray crystallography but downplayed her role big time. Very shameful behaviour indeed.

      • Jojo

        And the Nobel prize was their wider work on DNA, not just the discovery of the structure of DNA, so she probably would have missed on that account. A great scientist, she might have got a different Nobel for her x-ray work on other biological molecules.

        • Princess711

          Yeah we’re learning about her in Bio and apparently she had guessed that DNA formed a double helix 14 months before Watson and Crick ever made their model :-/
          And to the person below, I really hope your comment is a joke. Even if it was an intended joke it’s definetly NOT funny

    • GrammerNazi

      I know how you feel Mein Führer was also robbed of a Nobel Prize. His ultimate goal was to create the perfect race of humans. Many of his scientists were also robbed of the Nobel Prize; they had to sacrifice so much to complete the many experiments in the camps. It is rumored that one scientist had to wake up at 3:30 a.m. to make it to work on time. He also had to be in bed by 8:30 p.m. every night (excluding weekends) in order to get the required sleep. He also missed his favorite TV show “Late Night with Hans Albers” because it played at 10:45 on week-nights, but it did not play on the weekends.

  • Who needs a dumb Nobel Prize when you get a whole element named after you?? (Mendelevium)

  • Mike

    The Nobel Prize has had zero credibility since Obama won.

    • Bullamakanka

      I can see that regarding the Peace Prize, as opposed to the sciences/humanities. I thought the same when Gore won.

      • Name

        More like since Ghandi DIDN’T win. They didn’t give it to anybody the next year in his honor (if I remember correctly).

        • MeDan

          The Nobel Prize for Peace has seemed somewhat of a joke at times. But the Literature Prize has been equally silly at times. It seems to be awarded according to what continent is due to win. I’ve said before that if somebody wants a Nobel in Literature, all they have to do is move to Antarctica and write a few poems about snow. There are people at Vostok Station right now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them didn’t publish an account of their experiences.

        • Bjørn

          Do you realize that he wasn’t for peace at all? You should seriously do at least some level of research. He lived in South Africa from 1893 to about 1914. He even joined the military and actively participated in the war against Black South Africans. He wanted unity between the Europeans and the Indians, not between all the races there, as he saw Blacks as inferior. He openly referred to them as ‘kaffir’ (a racial slur) and was outraged at the thought of them being treated equally as Indians there. Therefore he supported apartheid as long as it didn’t reduce the status of the Indians to that of the native Blacks.

          It’s embarassing that fools like MLK based their civil rights movements on this man and his movements while completely ignoring the suffering that our brothers and sisters in South Africa suffered, encouraged by this monster. Please learn the truth about Gandhi!

    • The Nobel Peace Prize was a joke long before Obama won it — that was when a war criminal named Henry Kissinger won it. And yes, Gandhi should have won it too.

    • joe wesner

      My thoughts exactly, and you can include V.P. Al Gore.

  • I was surprised and delighted that you included Nikola Tesla in your list.

    • wrake

      I wasn’t surprised, but i was delighted. I halfway expected them to leave him off the list because the Tesla/Edison rivalry is so well known. The only other person on the list I had ever heard of before was the Periodic Table of the Elements guy. And i already can’t remember his name again.

  • Name

    I’m surprised Tesla wasn’t higher. That’s a super famous snub with the whole Tesla vs Edison rivalry

    • The Claw

      Tesla is the one of the biggest examples of pure and amazing genius wasted because of America’s goverment conflict of interest. My cousin Chuy in my little Central American forsaken village would have gotten rid of the candles a long time ago. Tsk tsk tsk.

  • emily_weirdnez

    this nobel prize is BS then? they should have done their own research first to know the real person that should be awarded. it’s unfair for those scientists. they’re the one who’ve done all the work then somebody else get the recognition

  • Surya

    Nobel Committee has a clear bias in favor of the western scientific community. A glaring example is Prof. S N Bose of India, whose work on quantum mechanics resulted in the Bose-Einstein statistics and Bose-Einstein Condensate. Many physicists were later awarded the coveted prize for their work on Bose-Einstein Statistics, even in as recently as 2001, but Bose himself was never considered for the prize. That the subatomic particle Boson was named after him is too little an honour to felicitate a great mind like his.

    • Chocta

      There was a costarican scientitst(Clorito Picado) who discovered penicilin before Flemming, but he never got credit for it. Did they Forget him too???Or??

  • Arsnl

    You forgot Palade. The guy is the actual discoverer of insulin but some canadian dudes got the prize. So that’s an actual cases of stealing a Nobel prize. So he was an antisemite but that makes one wonder: can personal opinions tarnish your scientific work even is they are not related?

    • My vote is no. Value their contributions to science for what they are, and leave their personal lives to themselves. If their skewed views start impacting their work (trying to place scientific differences between ethnicities as proof of superiority or something) then obviously there’s conflict, but otherwise, if the award if being given for excellence in science, let the criteria be “excellence in science.”

      • M. Herrmann

        Palade actually got his Nobel, but it was for ribosomes. Dr. Nicolae Paulescu was the true discoverer of insuline which he called pancreatine. And in his work as a doctor he did not refuse medical assistance to anyone.

      • p1t1o

        How about the very controversial nature of Nazi medical experiments on POWs? Some very rigorous research was done on things like anaethesia and cold weather survival. At great cost however, both of human life and ethical/moral substance.

        Should the scientists be lauded?
        Should the data even be used?
        They were obviously concerned with scientific excellence, but their views were somewhat…”skewed”.

        I think the answers to those questions are obvious (short version: no and yes) but it is an interesting parallel is it not?

  • trollolol

    I discovered cure for aids..i was not given any noble prize..
    :(

  • Raymond

    What about Einstein and his theory of relativity? I always thought it did the scientific community more good than the photoelectric effect.

    • andrewtpepper

      + on this; I would argue that Einstein should have received three prizes – one for photoelectric (which he did get), one for the photo Doppler and one for relativity – although you could argue for two prizes for Special and General.

  • foinikas

    Dr. Georgios Papanikolaou from Kimi Evoias, Greece. Millions of women owe a lot to his test, the world known “Pap test”.

  • DLJohnny

    The entry on Jocelyn Bell Burnell (#7) sounds like it played out like how Jodie Foster would get screwed over in Contact. At least, while reading it, it made me think of that role.

  • Darthnixa

    I was half afraid to see Jobs on this list. You never know with today’s stupidity…

    • Stupidity on Listverse? Never! Only smart lists here :)

    • Flogo

      Wow, troll. Get off your computer and drag your 13-year old butt so your mom can get you a snack…….

  • Baldguy

    “Intelligent design rabble.”

    Hate much?

    • dotmatrix

      I thought he was being rather restrained. I would have worded it a little differently, myself.

  • A Paul is a Paul is a Paul

    Hello? Dr. Emmett Lathrop “Doc” Brown, PH.D, anyone? He only invented time travel people.

  • Mira Bel

    Brain Fooooood!!! Feed me more!! LOL Great list and well researched. Glad to see you added some women and it wasn’t another testosterone list (j/k) LOL.

  • vanowensbody

    Great list.

  • dotmatrix

    I think Tesla should get a special posthumous Nobel for Awesomeness!

    • p1t1o

      He did get a unit named after him though, even Edison didn’t get that.

      Arguably, a unit is more significant than an award, far more people have won awards than have SI units named after them.

      Also, its a pretty hench unit.

  • ChemPal

    Henry Eyring for the Absolute Rate Theory of chemical reactions. Officially, his work was not understood at the time, but the Swedish Academy gave him the runner-up Berzelius Medal. Some people maintain that Eyring was slighted because he was a Mormon and the son of a polygamist.

    • Amanda R

      I also came on here to put on Eyring. It is more likely that Eyring was overlooked due to his working at the University of Utah, which at the time was quite low on the totem pole.

  • mom424

    Excellent list; well written, researched and presented. And I learned something – perfect!

    Could be that Mrs. Bell didn’t speak out because she wanted to keep working at the job she loved best. From what I’ve read, it was likely a good plan.

    So happy Douglas Prasher got off that bus – many folks can drive a bus, not so many are experts in chemistry/biology. Wonder if he got tired of the politics? Of course they’re rampant everywhere – just of different scale. Folks really are the same all over. Unfortunately at times.

    Again, great job.

  • Planet Earth

    Thomas Edison was a evil Freemason him & his Banker buddy would steal idea from other people and tried to stop TESLA a man much smarter than him .

    THOMAS EDISON was a evil GREEDY FAT MAN !

    • wrake

      Yeah Edison was a notorious “Patent Bandit” if you will. The more i learn about that man the more i detest him.

    • Lili

      New Cyber Attack: Got a Nobel ivntie in your e-mail inbox? Delete ……Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  • oouchan

    Interesting to say the least….and you are right, it is subjective. I would have to agree with Hoyle NOT getting one. Just not up to the standards and he was kind of nuts with his ideas. Tesla should have been number one since he was practically robbed of it. Sad that.
    The list was well written and well designed.

    Great list.

    • Arsnl

      ” I would have to agree with Hoyle NOT getting one”
      Thats silly. You cannot strip someone of his achievement because of his personal opinions or actions. You discovered something or you didn’t. It is not: you discovered something but if you are not a nice person then we will steal your discovery. This just shows, even scientists are human. And can do wrong. They can believe in the wrong things or give awards to the wrong people.

  • pinko

    Ghandi?

    • Bullamakanka

      To be fair, this list is about scientists. There’d easily be a long list of people cheated from the Peace Prize.

  • Whatever

    When I saw the title of this list, I was worried that Lise Meitner wouldn’t be on it. Boy, was I ever proved wrong!

  • Magnumto

    I had only heard of Tesla and Hoyle, and the only reason I had heard of Hoyle was because of his famous book on card games. ;-)

  • It’s a beauty contest, nothing more!

  • Ni99a

    Wow! I never knew a chink got nobel before!!

    • wasd

      nice…

  • Tesla was robbed of almost everything. Mendeleev deserves a prize just for the beard.

  • luoguanxi

    I can’t believe I wasn’t mentioned for my seminal work in reverse-engineering alien UFO technology, the robbing bastages.

  • bobnickmad

    Dr. Nicolae Paulescu -discovery of insuline

  • Erin

    Edwin Hubble

  • Alan

    Jonas Salk and the Polio vaccine?

    • Name2

      You mean the Sabin-Salk vaccine?

  • Tassie Devil

    If we take back the ill-deserved prizes from Barack Obama (for doing nothing)and Al Gore (for putting on a slide show) and regift them, then there will be some justice in the world. It would at least restore some creditability to the award.

  • p1t1o

    My favorite nobel prize related anecdote is about Hungarian Chemist George de Hevesy, he never won a prize (I’m not aware of any controversy here), but he prevented two others from having their Nobel prizes stolen, thanks to his awesome science brain.

    When the Nazis (who were especially interested in confiscating Nobel prizes amongst other things, for reasons I’m sure you can guess) invaded Denmark, George dissolved the gold Nobel medals of physicists Max von Laue and James Franck in “Aqua Regia”.

    (Aqua Regia is a combination of nitric and hydrochoric acids, that due to some clever chemistry, is one of the few things capable of dissolving gold).

    The solution sat in a jar on a shelf in George’s lab, unnoticed by the invading forces.

    This is the cool bit: After the war, George retrieved the solution, precipitated the gold back out of solution and sent it back to the Nobel Foundation who melted the gold back into two medals and re-presented them to Franck and Laue.

    Science Badass. Scbaddassience.

  • Rafsan Akib

    When it comes to physics,chemistry,biology,literature nobel prize sometimes fails to give it to the right persons (situated above).but when it comes to giving the Nobel prize in peace it fails every year.(Obama?really?What did he do to win the nobel?winning the presidency as the first African American?)It is a prestigious prize,the nobel committee really should look after these matters.it is the only chance for a person to get his/her name written in the history.

    • p1t1o

      I can’t make a judgement on “how much” Obama deserved his prize, but I immediately assumed that it wasn’t just for being a black president, and five minutes of googling showed me quite a lot.

  • WasabiNinja

    What no Walter White?

  • Dave K

    Very good list. I thought the nobel prize had only RECENTLY become an international joke (Paul Krugman, Al Gore, Yassir Arafat) but apparently it’s been one for decades.

  • Sardondi

    I’ll take your word about the scientists. But I can add two additional categories of Nobel nominees who were also robbed:

    1) Every disappointed nominee for the 2009 Noble Peace Prize – because each and every one of the losing nominees was far more accomplished, qualified and deserving than the eventual Peace Prize winner that year;

    2) Each and every Peace Prize winner before 2009, and each Peace Prize winner since 2009, including those yet to come – because the embarrassingly ill-chosen 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was so shameful and blatantly undeserved that the Peace Prize was, is and will be forever tarnished, diminished and devalued.

  • Three of your 10 are women, and that’s a much higher percentage than what the prizes have managed in their awards. Your numbers may reflect the rate of women among top scientists, which is very good. In the case of the Peace Prize and the Literature Prize, the numbers are very problematic. And on top of that, this year’s peace prize carries along all the rhetoric of tokenism. sigh.

    But this is a good list. Thanks for posting it!

    The Nobel Peace Prize’s problem with women http://wp.me/p1xS1Q-aD

    • p1t1o

      To all those who think that the Nobel Peace prize is ruined just because Obama won it:

      Firstly, no, he didn’t just get it for being a black president, google is your friend here.

      Secondly, I don’t feel i can pass judgement on whether or not he deserved the prize for what it was awarded for, but i respect that he did anyway. You don’t have to agree with the Awards every time for it to keep your respect, otherwise you are just a “glory supporter” or a “fair weather fan”. So to speak.

      If you ask me, consideringthe giants who have won it in the past, perhaps that means we should take a closer look at what this Obama fellow is *really* like huh? I mean, beyond being president?

      One guy wins it, with a degree of controversy. Does it means the entire Nobel Foundation and all it stands for has gone completely up sh** creek?

      Of course it bl*ody doesn’t.

  • hell if obama can win the nobel, who gives a shit

  • GilbertLewis

    No mention of G.N. Lewis? The guy that came up with virtually all chemistry on covalent bonding, Lewis acids and bases, purified heavy water, and reformulation of chemical thermodynamics?

    The guy could have gotten 6 Nobel Prizes with all the discoveries he made but was continually fucked out of them.

  • AC

    Good Try, Quick Search shows Tesla working with AC long before Steinmetz, However his contributions look good. Questions though? When it appears JP ****** and Edison were suspected of torching Tesla’s lab and several of their associates suddenly were applying for patents in area’s that Tesla was working on. Some patent cases were even documented in the court cases. JP’s black listing of Tesla pretty much killed his career. I guess Mr. Tesla should have given JP controlling interest in his inventions. But, he did cut a deal with George Westinghouse and then they both had to put up with constant Litigation from GE (one of JP’s and Edison’s Corps.)

  • AC

    Here is one invention Hedy Lamarr (Hedy Kiesler Markey) co-invented with George Antheil, spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping Patent 2,292387 the US didn’t use it until after the patient expired, saves on royalties you know. It is interesting that we need to thank them for their contribution to cell phone technology.

  • Jack

    No Edison?

  • tinyLOUD

    You forgot to mention Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

  • Chthon

    NICOLAE PAULESCU – True inventor of insulin

  • Falcon

    I would segugst contacting the board of Amnesty International, as they have won the Peace Prize and Amnesty has given journalistic awards to WikiLeaks.

  • Ravi

    G. N. Lewis for lewis acid and bases and several other discoveries in chemistry.

  • JAJ

    You forgot an obvious choice – G. N. Lewis (Lewis structures, Lewis acids and bases, and activities and activity coefficients are all fundamental concepts in chemistry that he developed. J. Willard Gibbs would also have been a good choice, but since he died in 1903 he didn’t really have much of an opportunity to be named.

  • dragonman7

    Tesla>Edison

  • reema shrestha

    oh god:….when will we get d actual evolution theory.

  • rk

    mahatma friggin’ gandhi

  • krish

    You left out Satyendranath Bose, on whom the bose-einstein condensate is based.

  • Fabio

    otto hahn improve the concept of lise ideas split the atom using fermi’s neutron bomb

    so it was incomplete, in that case the commite was right to give hahn the nobel prize even lise meitner admited, along with her assistant franz “something”

  • Fabio

    about rosalind franklin

    none ever proved that she was working in a DNA model

    the first one to so was linus pauling which failed. then tree scientists , one of them james watson , resolved the problem

    you guys must realize that the committe is biased in favor for those who propose the solution not the concept or a conjecture

  • James

    At least we dont have to add the pair that one the medicine nobel prize this year would have been a dam right travisty if they didnt win :)