Jim Al-Khalili has an interesting piece in today’s Guardian arguing that the Nobel prizes need a shakeup.
Of course one can argue that scientific progress has been taking place for hundreds of years and it is just that we are so much better now at reporting it. This is true. But one thing has changed: research disciplines previously unconnected are now starting to overlap and merge, with physicists, chemists, biologists, engineers, medics, computer scientists and mathematicians pooling their expertise to attack common problems. One such exciting field that is coming of age is quantum biology – where quantum physicists like me work alongside molecular biologists to attempt to explain a number of baffling phenomena in living cells.
He’s right. The rise of data-intensive science means that the original idea behind the Nobel prizes is beginning to look inadequate.