Time for my 2016 Nobel Prize predictions:
Chemistry: Lithium-ion batteries (John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham, Akira Yoshino)
Medicine: T-cell receptor (James Allison, Ellis Reinherz, Philippa Marrack)
Physics: Gravitational waves (Kip Thorne, Rainer Weiss, Ronald Drever, or maybe the LIGO collaboration)
Last year, I played the CRISPR card and lost. Also, I guess that I must stop saying “Ron Vale for kinesin” over and over again. So I tried to keep things fresh this year, but both my medicine and chemistry predictions are repeats.
For physics, I’d like to see the prize go to the entire LIGO collaboration, considering that there were thousands of scientist involved in demonstrating Einstein’s predictions. But I understand why the Nobel committee would prefer to award it to individuals, and there are 3 who are kinda obvious. 2016 might be too early for this award, considering the nominations are due Feb 1, but probably someone knew the gravitational waves discovery was imminent and nominated them? Or maybe my prediction is wrong, and it will exoplanets this year.
For chemistry, I think polymer synthesis could win, but it might not be sexy enough. I think batteries have demonstrated their impact on the world of portable electronics and electric cars. And Goodenough is old. I know I’ve predicted batteries in the past, but I hope I’m right this time!
Hopefully Nature doesn’t make fun of me again this year.
(See my past predictions and discussions here.)