Argentine Nobel Laureates

Mailen Agüero – Business Development Analyst
Francisco Stefano – Director

The Nobel Prizes today represent the most prestigious recognition to which a science professional can aspire. But many criticize this award for different reasons.

The origin of the Nobel Prizes dates back to November 27, 1895, when Alfred Nobel signed his last testament, leaving most of his fortune to prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace. It was not until five years later, in 1901, that the first prizes were awarded.

 

Critics claim that the prize is now out of step with modern collaborative research methods. The criticism began with regulations imposed by the Nobel prize committee, the rule that no more than three people can win an individual science Nobel.

 

The problem triggered by this sentence is illustrated by the prize awarded in 2013 to Peter Higgs and François Englert for a theoretical work that led to the discovery of the subatomic particle that was called the Higgs boson and that plays an important role in the distribution of mass. In the universe. Six scientists, including Higgs and Englert, did key theoretical work, but none of them were selected.

 

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics recognized the first observation of gravitational waves, a discovery described in a document signed by more than 1,000 scientists. The award honored only three of them.

 

Other reasons for which it is strongly criticized is due to the lack of women who won the award. In the history of the Nobel Prize in Physics, there have only been four female winners. In 2021, the seven science awards were given only to men. This has been met with great frustration and disappointment from scientists. Some say this shows a disappointing lack of progress towards prize diversification.

 

The prizes were not the only ones criticized, but also the winning scientists. Those who, not because they were Nobel Prize winners, behaved decorously. The prize elevates some winners to godlike status, and that’s harmful. Even the best scientists have limited experience and their opinions on general issues are not always the right ones, others exploit their status.

 

One example is 1956 Physics Nobel Laureate William Shockley, who exploited his status as a Nobel laureate to promote racist ideas of intelligence.

 

Another example is Ivar Giaever, who won a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973 for his work on superconductivity, but who denies that the Earth is affected by global warming.

Despite this, the award remains the most prestigious recognition in the world.

 

Worldwide, there are 889 winners so far. Latin America has 17 of the winners. And the Argentines with Nobel Prize are 5, of which 3 are science:

BERNARDO ALBERTO HOUSSAY

He was born in 1887 and died in 1971. He won the NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSIOLOGY AND MEDICINE in 1947 for the discovery of the role of anterior pituitary lobe hormone in sugar metabolism.

LUIS FEDERICO LELOIR

He was born in 1906 and died in 1987. He won the NOBEL PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY in 1970 for his work in biochemistry discovering sugar nucleotides and their role in carbohydrate biosynthesis.

CESAR MILSTEIN

He was born in 1927 and died in 2002. He won the NOBEL PRIZE FOR MEDICINE in 1984 for the development of the technique for producing monoclonal antibodies that have the peculiarity of penetrating tumor cells, which allows opening new fields in theoretical and practical biomedical research and diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Thanks to the application of the discovery of it, today it is possible to do a quick and homemade pregnancy test.

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