11.16 Women in Stem
This is the first time for the Chemistry Prize, or for any Nobel Prize in our opinion. Two women were never the only ones nominated for an award. Let’s now take a look at the relationship between men and women in the Nobel Prizes.
11.14 Others who have lost
Lithuanian Virginijus Siksnys also had a good shout for being on the Nobel Prize citation. He received the Kavli Prize along with Charpentier and Doudna for his work on Crispr. His work has been described as neglected in the past.
We will post the reactions and our news and explain all day, so stay with us.
11.03 Crispr – has you covered
There has been a lot of talk about Crispr and Chemistry World has delved into the subject over the years. Our article on the subject is a good place to start. You may also be interested in our book review by newly born chemistry graduate Jennifer Doudna and a review of a documentary about Crispr. There has also been much talk of He Jiankui’s use of Crispr to modify the genomes of a number of human embryos which were then carried out. It was feared that these genetically engineered babies might be at greater risk of genetic diseases later in life, as gene editing performed on embryos was criticized as sloppy. Jiankui has now been sentenced to three years in prison by the Chinese authorities.
As always, there are people who could have been included in the award but were not. Nobel Prizes can only be awarded to three people at most and others like Feng Zhang or George Church could have been included. But this is the way of the Nobel Prize winners and many, many words have been written about the nature of science today – which favors large interdisciplinary teams and which is a group effort.
10.51 Many congratulations!
Kudos to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna who discovered one of the keenest tools in gene technology: CRISPR / Cas9 genetic scissors. Using them, researchers can modify the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extreme precision. This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and could fulfill the dream of curing hereditary diseases. “
Many had doubted that Crispr would be awarded – yet. Its impact in the field of genetic engineering cannot be overstated. It has led to the precision engineering of organisms and even humans (illegally), but the discoverers are engaged in a legal fight over who owns the rights to the technology. Nobel observers had assumed that the prize would not be awarded until this legal dispute was resolved.
10.49 So early for Crispr
10.48 It’s Crispr!
A bit of a surprise there
10.46 Here we are …
They seem to be preparing to leave.
10.43 No movement yet …
The physics award was delayed about 15 minutes yesterday.
10.40 Get ready …
There are only five minutes left.
10.38 Past performance …
The Lasker Awards – highly prestigious awards in the biological sciences – have often been good predictors of Nobel Prizes in Medicine and Physiology and Chemistry over the years. However, as a result of the pandemic, the awards were canceled this year.
As we have established, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry now awards breakthroughs in biochemistry more than any other field. Last year the basic research prize was awarded for the discovery of two classes of lymphocytes – B and T cells – to Max Cooper and Jacques Miller, who “started the course of modern immunology”. The Clinical Research Award went to H. Michael Shepard, Dennis Slamon and Axel Ullrich for the development of Herceptin, the first monoclonal antibody to target cancer. The award for Shepard, Slamon, and Ullrich might have been a good bet for the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, if George Smith and Gregory Winter hadn’t won half of the Chemistry Award in 2018 for the work that led to the development. of monoclonal antibody drugs.
To prove the point that the Lasker Awards can be a good predictor of the success of medicine and physiology or chemistry awards, you need to look no further than the 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine. In 2016, William Kaelin, Jr, Peter Ratcliffe, and Gregg Semenza won the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for their work on how animal cells can perceive and adapt to changes in oxygen. In 2019, William Kaelin, Jr, Peter Ratcliffe and Gregg Semenza won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work on how animal cells can perceive and adapt to changes in oxygen. Let’s see what happens this year …
10.34 The results are in
Our Twitter followers have been talking and it looks like the favorite to win this year, taking 30.5% of the 410 votes, is the Crispr gene editing tool! It was a relatively close run between gene editing and the rather ambiguous category of “anything else”, but both were way ahead of DNA synthesis (in last place with 18.5% of the votes) and MOFs ( 20.7%)
Today is the day! 🥳 Chemistry # NobelPrize2020 it’s all set to be announced around 10:45 am BST, but what do you think will win this year? Let us know!
– Chemistry World (@ChemistryWorld) October 7, 2020
10.31 We are almost there
Only 15 minutes to the announcement now. You can watch it live here.
10.29 Nominal inflation
Nominations have steadily increased over the years, possibly due to the expanding research communities and possibly due to the Nobel Prize becoming better known over the years. The least number of nominations (11) were received in 1918 and the most (153) in 1966. I imagine those figures would be dwarfed by the nominations today.
10.26 Other nuggets nominations
• Most prolific nominator: Nobel Prize 1929 Hans von Euler-Chelpin, who nominated 59 people in 35 nominations from 1907 to 1960. He was very keen for a Nobel to go to Walter Reppe, whom he nominated annually for a decade starting in 1950. Reppe’s extensive research into acetylene chemistry led him to last fame in chemistry – he was one of the earliest supporters of organometallic catalysis for the industry – but he never won a Nobel Prize.
• The most undecided nominator goes to the German organic chemist Karl Johann Freudenberg who in 1965 appointed a total of seven people, three of which he later received an award: Fritz Arndt, Hans Lebrecht Meerwein, Robert Burns Woodward, Georg Wittig, Alfred Rieche, Rudolf Criegee, Manfred Eigen. Usually, people only nominate one or two individuals in a single nomination.
10.23 Nobel Chat
Our corporate director, Phillip Broadwith (@broadwithp), they will be in live chat English Al Jazeera news channel discussing this year’s award shortly after the announcement, so tune in! We think it will be around 11:00.
10.20 A few words from Twitterati chemistry
Much love for Carolyn Bertozzi and bioorthogonal chemistry on Twitter right now #chemnobel.
I have no hiding for who I am competing in #ChemNobel – Sharpless and Bertozzi. But the click chemistry always reminds me of Richard Nixon’s campaign song (and this is real):
“Come and / Click with Dick / What no one can lick …”
– Doctor Kit Chapman (@ChemistryKit) October 7, 2020
The advantage of having an 8 month old baby is that they are at least at a convenient time to see the #ChemNobel announcement anyway
– Marshall Brennan (@Organometallica) October 7, 2020
Orthogonal Chemistry: Researchers have found a way to use our cells as tiny flasks and perform chemical reactions inside. (OK maybe it’s not the same, but it’s been my bet since 2016 and it’s time they recognized it)
– 🧪 Fernando (@gomobel) 6 October 2020
10.11 Chemistry Christmas
It is definitely one thing.
Also, as today is essentially Chemistry Christmas, I’m wearing my chemical Christmas sweater with its inaccurate representation of an atom (but good job balancing those equations)#ChemNobel pic.twitter.com/mS4lIS4LPp
– Dr Grumpy Chemist (@Chemistry_Kat) October 7, 2020
10.09 nomination for the Nobel
This year, World of chemistry Science correspondent Katrina Krämer explored the Nobel Foundation’s archives to find nominations for the Chemistry Prize. The foundation only publishes records of who was nominated for an award after 50 years, presumably to spare the blush of nominators and those who never won.
He winked at a number of very interesting facts about the nomination process for the chemistry awards between 1901 and 1963.
• Most of the nominations for a winner: 111 – Robert Burns Woodward, who won the Nobel in 1965. He was first nominated in 1946 by Harlow Shapley, an oddly Harvard University astronomer, and Woodward was nominated again every year from 1953 to 1965. In 1963, Woodward was nominated 19 times! Its most persistent supporter was 1957 biochemist and Nobel laureate Alexander Todd, who named Woodward in 1959 and then annually from 1961 to 1965.
• Most of the nominations for someone who has never won the award: 72 – Christopher Kelk Ingold. It was first mentioned in 1940 by Australian electrochemist George Finch, also known for his role in the British expedition to Mount Everest of 1922, and then called again almost every year between 1948 and 1966. Ingold died in 1970 at age of 77, so would he have received the award if he had lived longer?
• Fewer nominations to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Four people only received one nomination before winning the award.
Francis Aston, who had been nominated for the physics award three times in 1922 but only once for the chemistry award, by the German-Swiss electrochemist Emil Baur. Aston won the 1922 chemistry prize for the discovery of isotopes in non-radioactive elements. The 1922 physics prize went to Niels Bohr instead.
Arthur Harden, named only once in 1929 by Carl Neuberg, one of the first pioneers of biochemistry, sometimes referred to as the “father of modern biochemistry”. Neuberg himself had been nominated for an award in chemistry or medicine 29 times, but had never received one. Harden won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1929 alongside Hans von Euler-Chelpin (who had been nominated 16 times in total) for their work on the enzymatic fermentation of sugar.
Harold Urey, discoverer of deuterium and pioneer of cosmochemistry, won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1934. He was nominated once (and once for the physics prize in the same year) by Theodor Svedberg (himself a chemistry prize in 1926) .
Ernst Otto Fischer was named in 1962 by Walter Hieber, an inorganic chemist known for his work in metal carbonyl chemistry. Fischer won the award only nine years later, in 1973, together with Geoffrey Wilkinson, for his work on organometallic sandwich complexes.
10.05 Someone rings the phone?
Yes, it is happening!
Chemists! This is the time of year when you should be close to your phones. Secretary General Göran K. Hansson will make a very important call today. Find out who is calling at 11.45am (ASAP). https://t.co/nJ1StH9KDk pic.twitter.com/dKFrIJqlaT
– Vetenskapsakademien (@vetenskapsakad) October 7, 2020
10.03 Speaking of winners
At Chemistry and engineering news just hosted their annual webinar on Predictions for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. C&EN‘S Laura Howes was joined by Wendy Queen at EPFL, science writer Kit Chapman (who you may remember from her time World of chemistry) and Darryl Boyd at the US Naval Research Laboratory. In a lively discussion they tell us about their choices for the Chemistry Prize with some names you will know if you are an expert observer of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and perhaps some you have never met before.
The World of chemistry the team is always very excited for chemistry Christmas and as a result we have a lottery for the prize. If you have any predictions let us know!
I drew Fujita for supramolecular chemistry in the (virtual) office lottery. @PatDWalter he assures me that there was no shortage of entries from the bottom of his Excel database, for which he received several million pounds #topic
– Neil Withers (@NeilWithers) October 7, 2020
9.44 En route
Just under an hour to the announcement!
9.43 The subfield match
How have the different subfields of chemistry fared over the years in the race for the Nobel Prize? Maybe Seeman and Restrepo are right …
9.34 A biology award?
Each year, certain that night follows day, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry can be expected to go to “biologists”. It has become a recurring joke in the chemistry community. Some shrug off saying it’s all chemistry or point to the interdisciplinary nature of central science, while others have sat down and processed the data. That’s what Jeffrey Seeman of the University of Richmond in the United States and Guillermo Restrepo of the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig, Germany did at the end of last year. Their conclusion: it is true, the identity of the Chemistry Prize has changed over the years and it would be better to call it the “Nobel Prize in Chemistry or Life Sciences”.
9.30 The “holy grail” of chemistry
We spent a lot of time last year examining the data behind the Nobel Prizes. This year’s gigantic teamwork revisited a series of articles published 25 years ago that called chemistry the “holy grail” – fields so important that realizing their potential would change the way we live. Topics include room temperature superconductors, an artificial leaf to split water, and synthetic enzymes. As you might expect, we’ve come a long way since 1995, but it hasn’t been easy for all of these fields. We combined these stories with interactive charts explaining who the most important players in each field are and how they are connected to each other and which newspapers were the most influential.
Several people working in these fields we interviewed have already won Nobel Prizes, such as Frances Arnold who won the 2018 Chemistry Prize for her work on direct evolution. But it is entirely possible that some of the people working on these “holy grails” may end up with a Nobel Prize for some of the scientific breakthroughs they are investigating.
9.25 A lovely prediction
This is simply wonderful!
9.18 Eyes on the prize pool
The Nobel Prize was the largest prize of its kind when it started. As you can see now, it has been surpassed by some newcomers, but the Nobel Prize is still the most prestigious scientific prize around – the recognition of its name goes way beyond any other.
9.15 Observation of the crystal ball
As always there has been a lot of discussion about who or what could win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The perennial favorite was John Goodenough for lithium-ion batteries and with him winning the award last year this opens up a new favorite. The new favorite among chemists on Twitter interviewed by Chemical natureStuart Cantrill’s editor was the Crispr gene editing tool. The discovery, however, is currently at the center of a legal battle over who discovered it, leading some to suggest it won’t win a Nobel Prize while there are still question marks about precedence.
One month tomorrow, 2020 #chemnobel will be announced, so it’s time for the annual #chemtwitter poll! Which topic do you think * will * (shouldn’t) reap the prize? (Leave comments suggesting what could win if none of the options in the poll …); RT appreciated!
– Stuart Cantrill (@stuartcantrill) 6 September 2020
Our news summarizes many of the predictions that have been made for the chemistry award. This includes Paul Bracher’s return to ChemBark and Clarivate’s citation crunch approach. However, it seems that the Nobel Chemistry committee often likes to surprise us (quasicrystals anyone?), Which always makes the announcement one of the most interesting of the three science awards.
9.10 Data processing
Last year, we spent a lot of time wrestling with over 100 years of Nobel Foundation data to examine who and what wins a Nobel Prize in Chemistry. We have updated it for 2020 and highly recommend checking it out. If you’ve ever wondered where the winners were born, which institution can boast the most Nobel Prizes, or which Nobel Prize winner card received the most citations, then we recommend that you take a look. There is also a fantastic interactive map of the world showing where each individual Nobel laureate in chemistry was born and the institution they moved to to do their award-winning work.
9.05 Diversity in the Nobel Prizes
It is the question that arises every year: why are there no more women winning Nobel prizes, why do most of the prizes go to scientists in Europe and the United States? Chemist Marc Zimmer has served as a consultant to help the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences select the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in the past. Consequently, he is in a good position to talk about the problems with diversity that Nobel Prize winners have in science. Unsurprisingly, you notice that the reason there have been so few women and that winners tend to white men goes way beyond the Nobel selection committees. He notes:
“Nomination to receive a Nobel Prize in Science or Medicine is by invitation only and information on the nomination and selection procedure cannot be disclosed until after 50 years. Despite this confidentiality, based on the list of winners is It is clear that nominations tend to favor scientists working at elite research institutes, famous scientists who are good at self-promotion and those well known to their peers. Predictably, these tend to be older and more established white men. . “
8.54 Women in science
You don’t have to be exceptionally careful to spot in the statistics below that few women have won a Nobel Prize in Science, but this data visualization really hammers this house. The fact that relatively few women reach the top of science as a whole has been a subject of debate for a long time, but things are still only slowly changing. The Nobel Committee responded by looking at measures to address the imbalance.
8.49 Some statistics from the Nobel Prize in science
How does the chemistry award compare to the physics and physiology or medicine award on a couple of key measures?
Chemistry Awards: 111
Chemistry winners: 184
Awarded women: 5
Youngest winner: 35 (1935 Frederic Joliot award)
Oldest Winner: 97 (John Goodenough, one of the 2019 winners)
Medicine Awards: 111
Medicine winners: 222
Women awarded: 12
Youngest Winner: 32 (1923 Frederick G Banting Award)
Oldest Winner: 87 (1966 Peyton Rous Award)
Physics Awards: 114
Physics winners: 216
Women awarded: 4
Youngest Winner: 25 (Lawrence Bragg Award 1915)
Oldest winner: 96 (2018 Arthur Ashkin Award – sadly died in September)
8.36 Curiosities about physics
Yesterday, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Roger Penrose, “for the discovery that the formation of black holes is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity”, and to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez “for the discovery of a compact object. supermassive at the center of our galaxy.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award 2020 #Nobel prize in Physics with one half to Roger Penrose and the other half together with Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez. pic.twitter.com/MipWwFtMjz
– The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) 6 October 2020
Roger Penrose is also known for discovering the Penrose tiles, diamond-shaped tiles that can be used to tile an infinite plane in a pattern that never repeats. Penrose tiles are linked to the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, awarded to Dan Shechtman for his discovery of quasicrystals in 1982 (I should add that there is a beautiful story, almost certainly apocryphal, of Roger Penrose making his corridor with Penrose tiles It is said that one of the people who allegedly laid the tiling said the work was a real disaster, the pattern never repeated itself!
Like Penrose tiles, but unlike traditional crystals, the ordered patterns in quasicrystals do not repeat regularly. It took many years for quasicrystals to be accepted as they break many of the conventional rules of crystallography.
You can read more about Shechtman and quasicrystals in our article on the award-winning work
And returning briefly to Penrose, here’s a nice piece of curiosity …
In 1997, Penrose was embroiled in a legal battle with Kleenex toilet paper manufacturers. It turns out that the non-repeating pattern of Penrose tiles is useful for making a quilted bog roll that doesn’t pile up.
“When it comes to inviting the people of Britain from a multinational corporation to wipe their asses on what appears to be the work of a Knight of the Kingdom without his permission, a final decision must be made,” commented David Bradley, director by Pentaplex, a company called that produced puzzles based on the Penrose models.
8.24 Your predictions?
If you want to let us know who you think will win, take our survey. If you think none of these camps will win, let us know which one you think could.
Today is the day! 🥳 Chemistry # NobelPrize2020 it’s all set to be announced around 10:45 am BST, but what do you think will win this year? Let us know!
– Chemistry World (@ChemistryWorld) October 7, 2020
8.17 Coming this morning …
The press conference is expected to begin around 10.45 am UK time (11.45 CEST), barring any problems in contacting new Nobel laureates. You can watch the proceedings unfold at 10.45 on the Nobel Foundation website. We tweeted from @ChemistryWorld everything about the Nobel Prize and we recommend the #chemnobel hashtags to keep up with what people say. If you have any suggestions or things you would like to share, the best way to contact us this morning will be on Twitter.
Press conferences this year were rather subdued affairs due to the pandemic. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences observed the rules of social distancing, disseminating committee members and expert scientists and far fewer journalists are in attendance. The award ceremony and the Nobel banquet, usually in December, were also canceled. This is the first time the Nobel Foundation has canceled the event since 1956, when they wanted to avoid inviting the Soviet ambassador due to the USSR’s suppression of the Hungarian Revolution. Instead the Nobel lectures and awards ceremony will take place virtually, while hopefully the banquet will take place in 2021. Let’s cross our fingers for the sake of us that things get back to normal enough for the banquet to work then.
8.07 Welcome everyone
Thank you for joining us this morning on the eve of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. We will talk about everything about the Nobel Prize while we wait for the announcement and share our thoughts on who could win, does the prize still matter in our day and what happens when you get the call from Stockholm?
A quick recap of how things stand so far. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went on Monday to Harvey Alter of the National Institutes of Health of the United States, Michael Houghton of the Canadian University of Alberta and Charles Rice of Rockefeller University in the United States on Monday for the discovery of the virus that causes l hepatitis C, a virus that affects 1% of the world population. Yesterday was the turn of physics and Roger Penrose at Oxford University received half of the award for his work on black hole formation, and the other half went to Reinhard Genzel at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and Andrea Ghez to the University of California, Los Angeles for discovering a supermassive compact object at the center of our galaxy. The Ghez award brings the number of women who have won a Nobel Prize in physics to four.
Today is the big one (for us anyway), so stay with us as we bring you the latest news, gossip and award commentary. We’ve also collected all our Nobel Prize Stories in one convenient place for you.