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Nobel predictions

This year’s Nobel prize predictions have been made by Thomson Reuters, and there are no Indians on the glorious list of anticipated prize winners in the sciences and economics.

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Thomson Reuters announced the 2009 Thomson Reuters Citation Laureates — researchers likely to be in contention for Nobel honors — just ahead of the real announcement from October 5-12. The organisation uses data from ISI Web of Knowledge, the world’s largest citation environment of the highest quality scholarly literature, to quantitatively determine the most influential researchers in the Nobel categories of Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Economics.

These high-impact researchers are predicted to be Nobel Prize winners, either this year or in the near future, based on the citation impact of their published research. Fifteen such predictions have come true in the last seven years. David Pendury, citation analyst at Thomson Reuters says they pick up possible candidates by assessing citation counts and the number of high-impact papers they have produced while identifying discoveries or themes that may be considered worthy of recognition by the Nobel Committee.

Professional awards, like the Nobel Prize, are largely a reflection of peer esteem. The 2009 predictions include:

Chemistry :

Michael Grätzel, Professor and Director, Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Laussane, Switzerland for his invention of dye-sensitized solar cells, now known as Grätzel cells.

Jacqueline K. Barton, Arthur and Marian Hanisch Memorial Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering,California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., USA and Bernd Giese Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland and Gary B. Schuster, Provost and Professor, School of Chemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, Ga., USA for their pioneering research of electron charge transfer in DNA.

Benjamin List, Professor and Director, Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, and Honorary Professor, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany for his development of organic asymmetric catalysis using enamines.


Yakir Aharonov, Professor, Department of Physics, Computational Science and Engineering, Chapman University Orange, Calif., USA, Emeritus Professor, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel, University of South Carolina Columbia, S.C., USA and Sir Michael V. Berry, F.R.S., Melville Wills Professor of Physics Emeritus, Department of Physics, University of Bristol Bristol, United Kingdom for their discovery of the Aharonov-Bohm Effect and the related Berry Phase, respectively.

Juan Ignacio Cirac, Director of Theory Division, Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics Garching, Germany and Peter Zoller, Professor of Physics, Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Innsbruck and Scientific Director, Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Innsbruck, Austria for their pioneering research on quantum optics and quantum computing.

Sir John B. Pendry, F.R.S., Professor of Theoretical Solid State Physics and Head of the Condensed Matter Theory Group, Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, United Kingdom and Sheldon Schultz, Research Professor of Physics, Department of Physics, University of California San Diego San Diego, Calif., USA and David R. Smith, William Bevan Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the Center for Metamaterial and Integrated Plasmonics, Duke University, Chapel Hill, N.C., USA for their prediction and discovery of negative refraction.

Physiology or Medicine

Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Morris Herztein Professor of Biology and Physiology, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif., USA and Carol W. Greider Daniel Nathans Professor and Director, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Baltimore, Md., USA and Jack W. Szostak, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School and Alexander Rich Distinguished Investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital; also, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator Boston, Mass., USA for their roles in the discovery of and pioneering research on telomeres and telomerases.

James E. Rothman, Wallace Professor of Biomedical Sciences, Professor and Chairman of Cell Biology, Professor of Chemistry, Yale University, New Haven, Conn., USA and Randy Schekman, Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California Berkeley; also, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Berkeley, Ca., USA for their research on cellular membrane trafficking.

Seiji Ogawa, Director, Ogawa Laboratories for Brain Function Research, Hamano Life Science Research Foundation, Tokyo, Japan for his fundamental discoveries leading to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which has revolutionized basic research in brain science and diagnosis in clinical medicine.

More details and predictions for economics here.


  1. Report this comment

    KH said:

    Well, finally an INDIAN amongst the nobel laureates this year (from chemistry). Yipee!

  2. Report this comment

    Aditya Mittal said:

    All humans have simian origin. So if India is celebrating that a person of Indian origin got the Nobel, then I guess all monkeys must be going crazy in the Nobel week!

  3. Report this comment

    swati said:

    Yeah,that’s absolutely true.Though its a great achievement for the Indian origin scientist, I disagree that it’s an achievement for India. When Indian scientists will do path breaking research in India and earn the Nobel, that would be a REAL ACHIEVEMENT..

  4. Report this comment

    BG said:

    KH, he is NOT an INDIAN. There is a difference bewteen Indian-origin and Indian. And there are reasons why he switched his nationality.

  5. Report this comment

    دردشة مصرية said:

    Thank you. Very nice post.

  6. Report this comment

    orhun said:

    Yeah,that’s absolutely true.Though its a great achievement for the Indian origin scientist, I disagree that it’s an achievement for India. When Indian scientists will do path breaking research in India and earn the Nobel, that would be a REAL ACHIEVEMENT..

  7. Report this comment

    Samuel said:

    You’re really awesome. Keep it up and continue sharing your thoughts!

    This is not technically a Nobel Prize because it was not listed in Nobel’s will, though it does use Nobel’s foundation to fund the awards.