Nobel Prizes and COVID-19: Slow, basic science may pay off

It may soon do so again.

Science builds upon previous work, with thinkers “standing on the shoulders of giants,” as Isaac Newton put it, and it starts with basic research aimed at understanding a problem before fixing it. It’s that type of basic science that the Nobels usually reward, often years or decades after a discovery, because it can take that long to realize the implications.

Slow and steady success in science has made researchers hopeful in the fight against the pandemic. It even offers a glimmer of climate optimism.

Many years of advances in basic molecular science, some of them already Nobel Prize-winning, have given the world tools for fast virus identification and speeded up the development

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The Nobel Prizes Have a Diversity Problem Worse Than the Scientific Fields They Honor | Best Countries

In 2007, I served as a consultant for the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ deliberations about the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. As a result, I was invited to attend the Nobel ceremonies. Staying at the Grand Hotel with all the awardees, I got to see how scientists – excellent but largely unknown outside their fields – suddenly became superstars.

As soon as they’re announced annually in early October, Nobel laureates become role models who are invited to give seminars all around the world. In Stockholm for the awards, these scientists were interviewed on radio and television and hobnobbed with Swedish royalty. Swedish television aired the events of Nobel week live.

As a chemist who has also investigated how science is done, seeing scientists and their research jump to the top of the public’s consciousness thanks to all the Nobel hoopla is gratifying. But in the 119 years since the Nobel

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Indigenous science celebrated in CSIRO finalists for Eureka Prizes

Two teams of researchers from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, have been named finalists in this year’s Eureka Prizes for their work with Indigenous communities.

CSIRO’s Indigenous STEM Education Project (ISEP) grows curiosity and passion for STEM, building career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students around the country through six different programs for students of all ages.

The Kakadu NESP Team has developed an Indigenous-led science project in the Northern Territory’s Kakadu National Park, bringing together ethical artificial intelligence and modern science with traditional knowledge to solve complex environmental management problems, and care for animal species and habitats.

Known as the ‘Oscars’ of Australian science, the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are Australia’s leading science awards and offer a unique co-operative partnership between government, education and research institutions and private sector companies to recognise and support scientific excellence.

CSIRO’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley, said the CSIRO teams were

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