Yes, Norway needs to focus more on top-quality research. But the growing fixation on prizes prompts the need for a gentle reminder about the meaning of the Nobel Prize. Just what do we actually know about these prizes?
It has been almost 30 years since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster sprayed radioactive fallout across parts of Europe. Nevertheless, Norwegian officials have measured much higher levels of radioactive contamination than usual in grazing animals this autumn.
The Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology has been awarded with one half to John O’Keefe of University College London and the other half jointly to May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser, a husband-and-wife team from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Governments come and go and, with each government, comes a new science policy in Norway, and a new buzzword. Yet, as I look at my own field – chemistry, a major area of science – there seems to have been scant progress over the last two decades.