Talk:Nobel Prize controversies

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Nobel Prize controversies:

Sourcing for the following:

  • Physics
    • Robert Millikan, 1920
    • Yuval Ne'eman, 1969
    • George Zweig, 1964, 1969, 1990

A quite relevant case left out: The Nobel Prize of Medicine not gained by Carlos Chagas, despite his unique work in the history of medicine (even for the present days). In 1909, he discovered, studied and described the whole infectious disease cycle for an important desease, which took his name: "Chagas desease".

Priority 1 (top)

Clean Up - Emphasis[edit]

I believe the facts and contents are largely alright and should remain unaltered or let others add in relevant sources over time. Perhaps the expressions, styling, etc., can be tightened up a bit in the article so it reads smoothly and more like a good piece of encyclopedia. I also noticed that due to the hyperlink nature of wikipedia, attractive, potential hightlights (like words origin, study, topicality, instant updates to verify discussions floating 'in the air', at any one time, etc.) can indeed be included, and read—to enliven up the pages like no encyclopedia, serving the public instantly! Great Stuff and unique work by our wiki-contributors and editors here! Thank you! Yzphub 10:38 Jan 09, 2007.

2007 Controversy[edit]

Norway Should Apologize for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize

Economics Controversy[edit]

The Economics Controversy section lists only mild objections --(1) some members of Nobel family object to it, and (2) Vast numbers of prizes have gone to the Chicago School, creating accusations of bias against heterodoxy. This is rather misleading. The controversy about the Economics Nobel prize is much larger than this, and documented by many reliable sources Following statements taken from Christian Science Monitor article, which cites many other sources:

1. "Calling this 'Nobel in Economics' perpetuates the fraud begun in 1969," wrote Christopher L. Simpson in a comment in The New York Times

2. "Feeling that the 'science' of economics lacked legitimacy, some Swedish bankers founded this prize and in wholesale commission of fraud named it after Alfred Nobel ("The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel" ) in order to gain for it the prestige that Nobel in his will, chose to reserve for physics, chemistry"

3. Swedish finance minister, Kjell Olof Feldt, who was also head of Sweden’s central bank, advocated abolishing the economics prize. Nobel’s descendants have done the same. "The economics prize has nestled itself in and is awarded as if it were a Nobel Prize," said Peter Nobel, Alfred's great-great-nephew, to a Swedish newspaper a decade ago. "But it's a PR coup by economists to improve their reputation".


4: Strong Bias in Nobel Awards towards free Market Economics: Out of the seventy six laureates that have been awarded ‘The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel,’ twenty eight have been affiliated to The University of Chicago. The world is really a small place when it comes to economics …

6: Strong Eurocentric Bias: Acknowledged economic turnaround miracles have been performed by economists in the East Asian Miracle economics. China's emergence from the bottom economy to near top world power strength has been engineered by Chinese economists. None of them have ever received Nobel Prizes.

The first paragraph of the Wiki entry states that the conditions for awarding the prize fulfil the same criteria as for other Nobels. THis has been strongly disputed. Many have contested that the winners have contributed to human welfare.

7: Bill Mitchell argues that One of the Nobel winners introduced the main idea of "search theory" == all unemployment is caused by people searching for jobs in inefficient ways -- in other words, people are unemployed because they want to be. This was the main point of break between Keynes and classical economists. Keynes argued that people CAN be involuntarily unemployed -- they dont have jobs even though they want them. Classical Economists and NOW Neo-classical economists, like another Nobel winner Lucas -- argue that all unemployment is a free choice. Everybody can get jobs whenever they want to, but they dont do so because they dont like the going wage rate. Using the Keynesian idea promotes Human Welfare by giving government the responsibility for full employment. The Nobel Laureates substantially contributed to the misery of the masses by promoting a theory that the unemployed are responsible for their own misery.

8: There has been a dramatic shift in the dominant macroeconomic thoeries among the academia. Before the 70's Keynesian ideas reigned supreme, and Chicago economists were dismissed as an eccentric minority with theories based on ideology rather than science. The Nobels were launched in 1969 to change this situation, and capture the prestige of the Nobel, and use it to enhance free market ideology. This strategy has been immensely successful. How the Nobel Prizes were launched to spearhead a revolution which brought neoclassical ideology to the fore has been documented in a book written by reputable economists: Avner Offer’s and Gabriel Söderberg’s' The Nobel factor: the prize in economics, social democracy, and the market turn (Princeton University Press 2016). Offer & Soderberg argue that the due to lack of scientific backing for modern economic theory, the Economics Prize is more akin to the prize for Literature rather than the hard sciences.

9: Lack of scientific value is evident from the dramatic failure of forecasts made by many Nobel Laureate Chicago School Economists. For instance Robert Lucas announced in a presidential address to the American Economic Association that Economists have solved the most important problem of preventing recessions, just a few years before the Global Financial Crisis created the Great Recession which continues to this day. Many have argued that the Chicago School theories were directly responsible for this crisis, since they prevented economists from seeing the possibility of collapse. Those who forecast it used theories not compatible with mainstream neoclassical orthodoxy and were ridiculed and dismissed. Many Chicago School Nobel Laureates were nominated for the Dynamite Prize -- awarded to economists most responsible for the Global Financial Crisis.

Asaduzaman (talk) 06:30, 1 January 2017 (UTC)


There has been some controversy about Bob Dylan. This has been largely unfair, but does this qualify for inclusion here?--Jack Upland (talk) 12:23, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

I think the controversey has mostly been imaginary. At least one source has complied some canonical opinions all of which are positive. Mkoyama1 (talk) 21:07, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
I agree. Mediocre writers spoke out, and people who didn't understand literature grumbled. Is that a controversy or not???--Jack Upland (talk) 09:34, 4 April 2018 (UTC)

Aung San Suu Kyi[edit]

My edit about adding Aung San Suu Kyi is reverted with this explanation "when awarded, two news stories with the same "take" do not add up to "controversy" unless Nobel commitee chimes in " . Would someone kindly tell me how many sources are enough from long list of sources like nytimes , .huffingtonpost , theguardian , independent , aljazeera,nbcnews ... , to include the case in the article ?--Alborz Fallah (talk) 14:54, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

I think google search results for "aung san suu kyi " + nobel prize controversy can help .--Alborz Fallah (talk) 15:07, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

The list covers controversially awarded Nobel Prizes. This is not a case where the award was controversial: Aung San Suu Kyi is currently controversial, not the prize. Also Wikipedia does not really cover what is going on in the news this week (hence the link to WP:NOTNEWS). Also, this edit, after the first sentence, has nothing to do with the Nobel Prize. Its just a diatribe about Aung San Suu Kyi. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 17:13, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

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2015 - the most silly controversy[edit]

It was the most silly controversy but probably worth mentioning in wiki.

In 2015, an Indian researcher Verma actively criticised the basis of this years Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine award to Tu Youyou for the discovery of the chemical artemisinin and her work on malaria. Artemisinin is an active compound present in a medicinal plant called Artemisia annua that is used for curing malaria. In his social media post, Verma claimed artemisinin was a variant of artemisin that was already known to Indian scientific community. To substantiate his claims, Verma provided a snapshot of an article from a book, "Indian Medicinal Plants" published in 1918 by Lieutenant Colonel K. R. Kirtikar and Major B. D. Basu. The book clearly described the use of "artemisin" in India to cure intermittent and remittent fever (the common phrase for used for malarial fever till 1880).

The controversy resulting from Verma's claims was published in many news papers. According to Outlook India's article, "Questions In A Petri Dish: The Nobel for medicine has gone to a Chinese researcher. Has the work of Indian scientists been overlooked", Verma stated “If a minor variant of a well-known compound extracted from a plant found around the world can be given the Nobel, poorer countries will be the losers, as scientists from technologically advanced societies can always find plants with similar chemical compounds elsewhere and extract the ingredient from them. Communities with traditional cures will lose out”.

After the article was printed, the Secretary-General of the Nobel Assembly for Physiology or Medicine, Professor Urban Lendahl responded to Outlook's questions. Edited excerpts and the story can be found here

The controversy abruptly ended when in contrast to Verma's claims, it was realised that artemisinin is not a minor variant of artemisin and the two are entirely different chemicals. Amrev (talk) 04:54, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

Why did you do this here, and not at the article Talk page where it was suggested you post? -Roxy, in the middle. wooF 09:26, 21 September 2018 (UTC)


W. H. Auden's missing prize was attributed to errors in his translation of 1961 Peace Prize winner Dag Hammarskjöld's Vägmärken (Markings)[1] and to statements that Auden made during a Scandinavian lecture tour suggesting that Hammarskjöld was, like Auden, homosexual.[2]

Was Auden's prize "missing" or did he just not get it? We have two brief citations: "Swedish dismay at the mangled translation may have cost Auden the Nobel prize in literature" and, regarding Hammarsköld's homosexuality, "it is thought that saying so publicly during a lecture tour of Scandinavia may have cost Auden the Nobel Prize". Both of these are speculative. I don't think this is a controversy.--Jack Upland (talk) 00:55, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

I have removed this.--Jack Upland (talk) 08:19, 24 March 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Harold Orlans,""Self-Centered Translating: Why W. H. Auden Misinterpreted 'Markings' When Translating It from Swedish to English"". Archived from the original on 18 March 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2008. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help), Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning (published by Heldref Publications for The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching), 1 May 2000, Highbeam Encyclopedia, "Swedish dismay at the mangled translation may have cost Auden the Nobel Prize in literature."
  2. ^ Alex Hunnicutt,"Dag Hammarskjöld" Archived 19 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine, glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture (Heldref Publications, 2004). Retrieved 11 August 2006: "Unless some hidden manuscript surfaces or an aging lover suddenly feels moved to revelation, it seems unlikely the world will ever know for sure the details of Hammarskjöld's sexual experience. W. H. Auden, who translated Markings, was convinced of his [Hammarsköld's] homosexuality; it is thought that saying so publicly during a lecture tour of Scandinavia may have cost Auden the Nobel Prize for Literature that he was widely expected to receive in the 1960s."

add section: Erroneous theories[edit]

Some dialectic sciences are open to permanent interpretation; on the other hand, some sciences are exact. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:2149:8299:DB00:55A9:50F5:D5B2:D1E7 (talk) 06:51, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

Another controversy of the 2011 Physiology or Medicine prize[edit]

I'm not sure what the exact rules are for adding a controversy on this page, but on Jules Hoffman's page, there is a section about a controversy of his contributions of the research that led to the award ceremony. It cites this article. -- (talk) 14:01, 3 June 2019 (UTC)