All posts by Vijendra Agarwal

Vijendra Agarwal earned his Ph.D. in physics from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India. Subsequently, served as faculty and held different academic leadership positions in the U.S. including a year in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Now, professor emeritus, he lives in Minnesota and runs a non-profit (Vidya Gyan) dedicated to education and health of underprivileged children in rural India; his way of giving back to the society. He is considering writing a book focused on gender, geography, and generational journey of physics Nobel Laureates. He would welcome readers’ comments and can be reached by email.

The emerging trends of Nobel Prizes in science

This article reviews the Nobel history since inception which shows that the Prizes in science conferred on individuals in the first 50 years are shifting to the Prizes being shared. It is,in part, because the science has become more complex, collaborative, expansive, and expensive. With the critical need for teamwork to tackle Big Science, we recommend that the policy of “no more than three” sharing the Prize be loosened on case by case basis and the nomination be made open for scientific organisations. We also suggest concrete steps for improving the gender gap among the Nobel Laureates. This necessitates proactive nominations of Nobel worthy work done by women and making structural changes in Nobel committees toward better gender ratio. Finally, our analysis shows that the U.S. is emerging as a Nobel Super Power leading to a divide not only with European countries but the world at large. Read more [...]