Talk:National Medal of Science

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Some thoughts on the page after expansion[edit]

I did a significant upgrade to this page and attempted to style it after National Medal of Technology (which was the article I just finished). I'm pretty happy with the way it is, but I still have three concerns:

  1. I am awaiting confirmation that I have the awards process correct. I'm about 90% confident I figured it out based on the documents available at the NSF and such, but I also sent an e-mail out to get confirmation.
  2. In the same e-mail I requested use of a nice graphic. We'll see how that turns out. Hopefully well.
  3. Important: I am concerned about the lack of female representation in the list of notable people that have been named laureates. When chosing people I basically added people that I (and some other scientists I know) knew at least of vaguely or that I wikipedia'ed and their accomplishments were extremely good. I wonder if it reflects my bias in not knowing a ton of female scientists or whether it's just the fact that there aren't a ton of National Medals of Science given to females (thus making it less likely that one will be notable). I see three ways to fix this:
    1. Search and add some notable women that are discovered if they are discovered.
      • I regard this as the best option
    2. Search and discover that there actually are no notible women that have won this award.
      • Only to be used if the first one failed.
    3. Add a full listing of all 409 people who have won the award. This has been done!
      • Wikipedia isn't paper.
      • It would take a somewhat of a long time.
      • It could be done.
      • Would this improve the article as a whole?
      • Would a list of these people be better rather than containing them here?
        • I think creating a seperate list is a bad idea, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

So anyway, those are my thoughts on the current state of the article. Please feel free to just randomly edit the page (as expected of all articles on wikipedia) or contact me on my talk page for more random thoughts. Happy editing.

-SocratesJedi 08:23, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC) EDIT: -SocratesJedi | Talk 10:52, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

  • Nice work on this article, I'm going to put up a list of winners on a seperate page, it would make this page to long. I think that the table of notables on this page should include all the Medal winners that have gone on to win a Nobel prize, which is quite easy to find out via the NSF page, hopefully there are some women on there --nixie 21:33, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Female recipients that have won a Nobel Prize:
Gertrude B. Elion, Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine
Rita Levi-Montalcini, Noble Prize for Physiology or Medicine
Barbara McClintock, Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine
Rosalyn Yalow, Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine

--nixie 01:49, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)


The first paragraph states that the president awarded the medal for two years at the same ceremony. My understanding is that this is usually done annually. As it is written it is implied that the president did not award the medal in the previous year. Is that correct?

I don't know if it was at the time of your comment, but it's referenced now and he did award the 2005 & 2006 medals in 2007. Why I don't know, and whether anything was awarded in 2006 I also don't know. Nil Einne (talk) 23:33, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

2009 recipients?[edit]

There are nine recipients of the medal in 2009 [1], but the official page only goes up to 2006[2]. Do we add all those nine guys under the "Notable laureates" section? --Enric Naval (talk) 16:57, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Partial list[edit]

Ouch, our article has zero recipients for 2006, but the laurates page has six recipients[3], same as the NFS page[4]. This list is badly outdated. --Enric Naval (talk) 17:45, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

ohoh, I just found we have a separate List of National Medal of Science laureates page. But it's broken down by field, so hard to find "all the winners from Year X". Could probably go with a "by year" alternate layout either in that same page or in List of National Medal of Science laureates by year. So the list in the article here of "notable" ones is cherry-picked. With no criteria for doing so? That's bad...probably need to remove the notables list as undue weight on some specific winners. DMacks (talk) 19:19, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
There is some discussion about this above. It does appear to be a fairly random selection based on personal editor opinions with the only criteria used being all Nobel Prize winners are listed (but I don't know if they are the only ones and I'm not sure how well that was implemented). Incidentally, even if the recent batch was awarded late in 2009 and listed in the database under 2009, the press release says they are for 2008 [5] [6]. The 2007 medals were also awarded late in 2008 (see earlier ref) and as noted in this article, the 2005 & 2006 medals were awarded in mid 2007 so it doesn't seem like there is anything unique about 2008, it's just whoever manages the database probably screwed up. I've emailed them. Nil Einne (talk) 23:00, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the criticism. That section of the article is called a "partial list", which implies biased judgment (rename "Incomplete list"(done)); that earns kudos for honesty but I take the liberty to downgrade the article from B to C. (partial ;-) justification re WikiProject Awards and Prizes, "This WikiProject is believed to be inactive.")
... Salvador Luria, for one, is listed at National Medal for Science[7] and at Nobel Prize[8].
At least, that section should include a hatlink to the complete List(done), a short preface that says something about the criteria {clarification needed}, and a note below the table(done) which explains whether the it ends (currently 1963) with the earliest induction (it doesn't). --P64 (talk) 15:12, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Markup in that paragraph shows what I have done.
The description for one entry is "posthumously", which makes no sense to me. Is it notable? If nothing else is notable should that Medal be included in this incomplete table? --P64 (talk) 15:48, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Agree completely that a partial list of winners with no discernible criteria for inclusion is a really bad idea, and totally confusing at quick glance. I propose to remove this list completely and simply refer to the separate full list of winners (List of National Medal of Science laureates). Girona7 (talk) 20:19, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Decided to remove the "notable" list, as it introduced unnecessary bias and seemed extraneous considering the existing full laureates list. For those who were concerned about not being able to view all winners by year, I also added to the full laureates page a ref that provides a year-by-year listing. Girona7 (talk) 23:17, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Kurt Godel Is a Nobel Laureate?!?[edit]

This is news to me. Kurt Godel (forgive the umlaut) was a mathematician of the purest kind: he was a logician working on the metamathematical foundations of mathematics. How can it be that he is a Nobel Laureate? He is listed under Nobel Laureates. There is no Nobel Prize category for mathematics and those mathematicians who have, received the price for the application their work in other fields (e.g. John Nash's game theory had application in economics). Is there a reliable source stating that Godel was a Nobel Laureate. Even the Godel page on wikipedia does not mention it if he was. Rlinfinity (talk) 20:09, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Pure and applied[edit]

I fixed one typo, which yields "pure and applied probability" (one link). A WP:redlink "pure" or "pure probability" makes no sense to me, and I see no good alternative except to link "applied" only.

Compare "pure and applied mathematics", which is not linked at all, unless I missed it. Perhaps WP:Maths or Proby or Stats has discussed these terms regarding useful links. --P64 (talk) 15:48, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Award year[edit]

This article and the List of medalists both need to be clear about the meaning of the given "Year". A glance (needs confirmation) suggests to me that this medal has been consistent throughout its history, with an official Award Year (which is the year we list) and a factual presentation year that is one or two later.

This Award Year is an oddity, in my opinion, because it differs from the presentation without any truly annual meaning to the Medal. It's a lifetime recognition, essentially, and some of the medalists are deceased. If it's both official and consistent, however (needs confirmation), then we should use it; merely need to explain it clearly.

As a note below this table I have nearly copied from the body of the article:

"The first Medal was awarded February 18, 1963, for the year 1962 (see above)."

Perhaps that can be improved, but it is clear enough. --P64 (talk) 16:02, 7 March 2012 (UTC)