This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today


What do you think would be the best thing about winning a Nobel prize?

By James Dacey

hands smll.jpg
This week the Nobel Foundation revealed that the prize money received by laureates is to be slashed by 20% because of ongoing financial difficulties. The announcement comes two and a half years after the foundation first announced that it might need to reduce the size of prizes, because the global financial crisis led to losses in its assets. As of this year, the prizes will be cut from SEK 10m to SEK 8m (£729,000), marking the first reduction in the value of the prize since 1949.

On first reading this, it seemed strange – and perhaps a little sad – to learn that a prize as prestigious as the Nobel could be as vulnerable to the economic climate as anything else. But then surely recipients don’t really care about the money because the real incentive for winning a prize is the freedom you would gain as a scientist and the recognition among peers? Hmm, well I’m not so sure. From my own experience, along with anecdotal evidence, I know that prize winners and would-be prize winners certainly don’t overlook the size of the prize money, even if this is not their main motivation. After all, most of these academics are not millionaires to begin with.

We want you to share your feelings on this issue by imagining that you were in a position to become a Nobel laureate, for this week’s Facebook poll question.

What do you think would be the best thing about winning a Nobel prize?

I wouldn’t want to win
Freedom to do the science that I want to do
The recognition that my field would receive
Securing a place in the history of science
The fame and all that comes with it

Let us know by visiting our Facebook page. As always, please feel free to explain your decision or suggest another benefit to winning the prize by posting a comment on the poll.

In last week’s poll we looked at the world of science fiction, by asking you to name your favourite author from the genre. It was a popular poll and it attracted some lively discussion, but the author who stole the crown in the end was the Russian-born American writer Isaac Asimov, attracting 56% of the vote. The other authors lined up as follows, Arthur C Clarke (17%), Ray Bradbury (8%), Stanislaw Lem (7%), Robert A Heinlein (6%) Larry Niven (3%), William Gibson (2%) and Kim Stanley Robinson (2%).

Thank you for all your contributions and we look forward to hearing from you in this week’s poll.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Comments are closed.


  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="">IOP</blockquote>
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text