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Ormond

2019 Nobel Prizes (except Literature)

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This is a thread to discuss this year's Nobel Prizes, except Literature, which is of course discussed in the Literature forum.

The winners of the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology was awarded today to William G. Kaelin Jr. of Harvard University, Gregg L. Semenza of Johns Hopkins University and Peter J. Ratcliffe at the Francis Crick Institute in Britain and Oxford University for work on how cells sense and react to oxygen levels:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nobel-prize-for-medicine-two-americans-william-g-kaelin-jr-gregg-l-semenza-win-with-peter-j-ratcliffe-today-2019-10-07/

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/07/health/nobel-prize-for-medicine-2019-intl/index.html

We used to have posters on this forum who were active in the sciences covered by the Nobels and could comment on or further explain the significance of the awards. I hope that's still the case this year. 

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The Nobel Prize in Physics has been jointly awarded to James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz for their work in furthering our understanding of the universe.

One half of the prize was awarded to Peebles for "theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology," and the other half to Mayor and Queloz for "the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star."

 

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/08/world/nobel-prize-physics-2019-intl/index.html

https://time.com/5694931/2019-nobel-prize-physics-universe-cosmos/

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The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded this morning to John B. Goodenough of the University of Texas at Austin, M. Stanley Whittingham of the State University of New York at Binghamton and Akira Yoshino of the Asahi Kasei Corporation and Meijo University, in Japan. They were honored for the development of lithium-ion batteries.

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2019/10/9/20906138/nobel-prize-chemistry-2019

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/09/world/nobel-prize-chemistry-2019-intl/index.html

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https://phys.org/news/2019-10-humans-migrate-planets-nobel-winner.html

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Humans will not 'migrate' to other planets, Nobel winner says

Humans will never migrate to a planet outside of Earth's solar system because it would take far too long to get there,

I get what the guy is trying to say here: Make sure we take care of this planet, instead of going all Elon Musk and trying to find our planet B.

But never? Never is a very long time. Will we do it int he next 1000 years? Maybe not. But if we survive the next 1000 years as a technologically advanced species (which I am confident we will, despite immediate concerns) then the following 49,000 years or 99,000 years or 499,000 years may well see us colonise outside our solar system.

If nothing else, we'll either have to move to another solar system or the human species has a definitive expiry date some billions of years from now. Not exactly something for us to worry about or even plan for, but if you say "never" you should clarify what you mean by that when it comes to cosmological time-frames.

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I was very excited about this year's Nobel Prize in Physics, as my field was recognized! Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz discovered one of the first exoplanets, and one around a Sun-like star. It led to an explosion in the nascent field of exoplanets, and today we know of more than 4000 exoplanets!

I've had discussions with other exoplanets folks before about whether exoplanets would ever get a Nobel. It's a bit tricky because the field of exoplanets is very interdisciplinary, and it tends to stray rather far from the "physics" category. But of course (in my totally unbiased opinion!), it's a hugely important field and I am glad to see it get recognition.

Very odd that they lumped James Peebles in there as well. That's about the opposite end of astrophysics as you can get from exoplanets (cosmology). But well-deserved nonetheless, as even very-much-not-a-cosmologist me am a little familiar with his work.

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Nice to see the lithium ion battery get a nod of recognition too.

As much as Jacinda has done a lot to bring white nationalist, Islamophobic terrorism into the spotlight, and worked hard to get the criminal bits off social media. I don't want another politician to get the peace prize.

Ultimately Greta Thunberg is shining a light on a far more important topic. And her winning would have the added benefit of seeing the likes of Jeremy Clarkson having kittems about it. The other front runners listed there did important things, but largely at a national level. So I hope the bookies are right having Great at very short odds.

Edited by The Anti-Targ

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For some reason no-one seems interested in the Peace Prize - given to the Prime minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed.

I think this is a good choice by the Nobel committee, as Dr. Abiy has managed, at least briefly, to make peace with Eritrea. 

There are still great challenges ahead, both regarding the relationship with Eritrea and Isayas Afewerki, but also domestic - in trying to unite a country with deep ethnic splits, and at the same time keeping the democratic process going. 

The prize may or may not help him, but he does deserve it. Best of luck!

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1 hour ago, Rorshach said:

For some reason no-one seems interested in the Peace Prize - given to the Prime minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed.

I think this is a good choice by the Nobel committee, as Dr. Abiy has managed, at least briefly, to make peace with Eritrea. 

There are still great challenges ahead, both regarding the relationship with Eritrea and Isayas Afewerki, but also domestic - in trying to unite a country with deep ethnic splits, and at the same time keeping the democratic process going. 

The prize may or may not help him, but he does deserve it. Best of luck!

Thanks for posting -- I am embarrassed to say I mistakenly thought the Peace Prize wasn't going to be announced until next week so I wasn't paying attention. 

I hadn't heard of Abiy before now but he does seem to be a good choice. No one is perfect, of course. 

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