2010 nobel predictions

September 2, 2010 at 11:32 am | | news, nobel, open thread, science and the public, science community

In previous years, I’ve awarded Edsel-Nobels, which no one really cared about. Maybe this is the year I’ll make predictions for the actual Nobel. Paul at Chembark already started his predictions, and everyone else will be buzzing about it soon enough.

In no particular order (and without much forethought):

  1. Solar: Grätzel
  2. Super-resolution optical microscopy: Betzig [awarded in 2014], Hell [awarded in 2014], Zhuang, Hess
  3. Cloaking: Pendry
  4. Birth control: Djerassi
  5. Laser-induced fluorescence: Zare
  6. Inorganic: Gray, Lippard
  7. Single-molecule spectroscopy: Moerner [awarded in 2014], Orrit, Rigler, Xie
  8. Chaperonins and protein folding: Horwich, Hartl, Lindquist, Ellis
  9. DNA fingerprinting: Jefferys
  10. Electrochemistry: Bard, Nocera
  11. Polymer synthesis: Matyjaszewski, Wang
  12. NMR and membranes: McConnell
  13. Discovery of kinesin: Sheetz, Vale, Brady
  14. Nano: Whitesides
  15. Peace: Twitter
  16. Cross-coupling: Suzuki, Heck, [awarded in 2010] Sonogashira
  17. Electron Transfer in DNA/Electrochemical DNA Damage Sensors: Barton, Giese, Schuster
  18. Pd-catalyzed Alkyne/Alkene Coupling and Atom-Economy: Trost
  19. Nuclear hormone receptors: Chambon, Evans, Jensen, O’Malley
  20. Two-photon microscopy: Webb, Denk, Strickler
  21. DNA microarrays: Brown
  22. NLO: Harris (as predicted by The Simpsons)

So there. The only one I’m confident about is Twitter.

Please feel free to add more in the comments. I will probably continue to update this…

UPDATE: Paul now has updated odds. Very impressive. He’s put a lot more thought into this than I. I’ve added cross-coupling to the list. Additions are in italics.

UPDATE: Can you name all the Chemistry Nobel winners?

UPDATE: Thompson has released their predictions.

UPDATE: The Simpsons also have some predictions.


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  1. 1) Not reasonable – the Gratzel cell so far has been useless
    2) maybe
    3) Cloaking also useless – would be an upset
    4) Too long ago, and there were too many people
    5) Never
    6) Maybe
    7) maybe
    8) Don’t know enough
    9) Don’t know enough
    10) Mayybbeee – but Echem is old and done
    11) meh
    12) Not yet
    13) meh
    14) No.
    15) CLEARLY

    Comment by Daniel — September 2, 2010 #

  2. i know you’d prefer to be negative, but do you have any suggestions, daniel? :)

    Comment by sam — September 2, 2010 #

  3. Maybe are the ones I think have good chances. But you can’t ever say “yeah thats the one that will win”

    Comment by Daniel — September 2, 2010 #

  4. i said that about roger tsien. for 3 years. and i was eventually right.

    Comment by sam — September 2, 2010 #

  5. where’s wikileaks when you need ’em?

    Comment by jordan — September 2, 2010 #

  6. If Matyjaszewski gets it for ARTP then is should be shared with Rizzardo for RAFT – arguably a far superior free radical controlled polymerisation.

    Comment by Sinbad — September 2, 2010 #

  7. […] Other 2010 predictions (to be updated): Everyday Scientist […]

    Pingback by ChemBark » Blog Archive » The 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Part III: Revised Odds — September 2, 2010 #

  8. RAFT “a far superior” controlled radical polymerization? Yeah right! RAFT stinks! Furthermore, ATRP and RAFT are two totally separate types of controlled radical polymerization. If Matyjaszewski shared it with anyone it would be Sawamoto.

    Comment by agiantamongmolecules — September 3, 2010 #

  9. Not that cloaking (aka transformation optics) has a chance this year, but if it did, Ulf Leonhardt would probably share the prize.

    Comment by Joel — September 3, 2010 #

  10. Nobel Predictions –

    Electrocatalytic Water Splitting: Nocera (MIT)
    Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy (or general advances in electrochemistry): Bard (UT Austin)
    General advances in inorganic chemistry/general advances in electron transfer: Gray (Caltech)
    Electron Transfer in DNA/Electrochemical DNA Damage Sensors: Barton (Caltech), Giese (Bassel), Schuster (Georgia Tech)
    Single Molecule Spectroscopy: Moerner and others
    Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells: Gratzel (Lausanne)
    Pd-catalyzed Alkyne/Alkene Coupling and Atom-Economy – Trost (Stanford)
    Electronic Nose: Lewis (Caltech)
    Surface Attachment and Electron Transfer through thiol SAMs on Au: Collman (Stanford), Whitesides (Harvard), Chidsey (Stanford)

    Comment by charles — September 3, 2010 #

  11. good ones, charles.

    Comment by sam — September 3, 2010 #

  12. Organocatalysis is the hottest area in chemistry these days. Looks like MacMillan(CalTech), Barbas(Scripps), and Jacobsen(Harvard) but Hajos(retired) would be one for historical contributions.

    Comment by Dan — September 4, 2010 #

  13. I’ll add Xiaowei Zhuang to 2) considering she is female.

    Comment by Suki — September 7, 2010 #

  14. my prediction for nobel prize medicine/ chemistry
    pierre chambon (france) ronald evans and jensen (USA) for the discovery of nuclear hormone receptors
    birth control pill -djerissi (USA)
    if your betting , these are stone cold leadpipe locks

    Comment by ramana — September 8, 2010 #

  15. STORM is way, way too young and way, way not enough implemented yet.
    Chaperones will happen one day but it’s tough to say to whom–Horwich, Lindquist, Ellis, Hartl all could be there.

    Comment by richyP — September 8, 2010 #

  16. Dan
    Organocatalysis is already starting to hit a wall. There’s only so far a field can go when people only care to plunder it mindlessly… besides, how could you even think to give a prize in that area without including Ben List?
    Gratzel seems like a better choice than most people are writing about, mostly because of all the political hype about solar energy (although the cell is very ineffective in a practical sense) and also because the man has practically spent most of 2009 and 2010 receiving top-notch awards.

    Comment by EC — September 9, 2010 #

  17. richyP, Bezig and Hell both published the theories behind their super-resolution techniques in the mid 1990s. now those techniques are being realized and implemented for cell biology. true, no real revelations have been made yet, but the techniques are making a big impact. maybe still too soon…

    Comment by sam — September 9, 2010 #

  18. Could go to Synthetic Biology, recognizing pioneering studies using DNA and protein chemistry to create synthetic gene networks: Collins, Elowitz and Leibler.

    Comment by Lars — September 10, 2010 #

  19. What about Denk and Webb for developing two-photon microscopy? That technique seems to be enabling a lot of very cool experiments in neurobiology and other fields.

    Comment by Yggdrasil — September 11, 2010 #

  20. EC- organocatalysis hitting a wall? Seems to get more creative and powerful with every issue of JACS/OrgLett/Angewandte. There are so many deserving people and innovations. In these days of big science, limiting the prize to 3 will become an ever greater travesty.

    Comment by Dan — September 16, 2010 #

  21. Dan
    Then compare the level and number of publications in Organocatalysis nowadays with that of, say, 4 or 5 years ago. Seems like a big bubble slowly bursting… Besides, where do you draw the line? Is Scott Denmark’s Lewis Base activation Organocatalysis? Why not? What about Hajos, Wynberg and all those (truly) pioneering chemists? It sure remains a productive field of research, but it looks like more and more a branch of supramolecular chemistry than anything else…

    Comment by EC — September 18, 2010 #

  22. ATRP wase co-invented by Jin-Shan Wang and Matyjaszewski. You should add Wang for the 11th.

    Comment by ATRP — September 18, 2010 #

  23. If Obama can win Peace Prize, I would suggest the grad student in MIT has the potential to bring a change

    Comment by gene — September 20, 2010 #

  24. […] didn’t even feature Kitagawa and Yaghi, although it put 9-1 odds on bioinorganic chemistry. The Everyday Scientist blog is also fond of this topic, although it gives credit to Harry Gray rather than the Thompson […]

    Pingback by Nobel predictions proliferate | Ecomentality@LifeDrop — September 22, 2010 #

  25. finally MOFs come to the lens of possible Nobel laureates… I wonder why Kitagawa and Yaghi (and Robson or Ferey) were never included in these list…

    Comment by MOF5 — September 22, 2010 #

  26. […] Na blogu ChemBark możecie natomiast znaleźć bardzo rozbudowaną listę potencjalnych lauretów, z uwzględnieniem dyscyplin (lub tematyki naukowej), wraz z przypuszczalnymi szansami na uzyskanie nagrody. I tak, wg ChemBark’a, największe szanse w tym roku mają ludzie zajmujący się spektroskopią i laserami (Zare, Moerner), cząsteczkami sygnałowymi (Chambon/Evans/Jensen), couplingami (Suzuki/Heck/Sonogashira/Tsuji) i chemią bionieorganiczną (Gray/Lippard/Holm). Niewielkie szanse ma natomiast klasyczna synteza organiczna (Evans/Danishefsky/Nicolaou/Ley/Trost/Stork/Wender/Kishi), organokataliza (List/Lerner/Barbas) i polimery (Matyjaszewski). Podobną listę możecie znaleźć na Everyday Scientist. […]

    Pingback by Noblowskie przewidywania 2010 | Blog chemiczny — September 27, 2010 #

  27. […] real predictions are here.) | 5 Comments […]

    Pingback by Everyday Scientist » the simpsons have their own nobel predictions — September 28, 2010 #

  28. […] Everyday Scientist […]

    Pingback by Gearing Up For Nobel Week | Newscripts — October 1, 2010 #

  29. http://www.sloankettering.wordpress.com

    important research ought not to be coupled with clearly unnecessary craven self-servitude … boo. you know better. how about providing lbe: leadership by example. people with cancer are often desperate and scared. stop hurting people. they’re just people.

    Comment by mskccheats — October 1, 2010 #

  30. Alec Jeffreys
    Pat Brown R.W.Davis
    R.Evans, P.Chambon, B. O’Malley/Jensen
    J.Darnell, G.Stark, I.M.Kerr
    A.Levine, B.Vogelstein, D.Lane
    V.Ambrose, Baulcombe, G.Ruvkin

    Comment by ramana — October 1, 2010 #

  31. mksccheats, what the hell are you talking about?!? :)

    Comment by sam — October 2, 2010 #

  32. […] EveryDay Scientist compila una lista più variegata e che sfora in altre categorie, mentre NNNS chemistry blog spara in disordinata sequenza: […]

    Pingback by Previsioni per il nobel per la chimica? « Il chimico impertinente — October 4, 2010 #

  33. Did Djerassi (for birth control) lose worse now that Robert Edwards got a Nobel for IVF?

    Comment by jordan — October 5, 2010 #

  34. maybe djerassi will win the peace price for keeping the population from exploding…

    Comment by sam — October 5, 2010 #

  35. Physics Nobel went to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov for discovering graphene. Maybe we should start a blog entry w/ updates on prize winners? Or you’d rather wait for more to come out?

    Comment by jordan — October 5, 2010 #

  36. i’ll to a roundup after the chem prize is announced tomorrow…

    Comment by sam — October 5, 2010 #

  37. Number 16 it was – and Sonogashira replaced by Negishi

    Comment by EC — October 6, 2010 #

  38. […] it’s already Nobel season! ChemBark and the Curious Wavefunction already have predictions. My 2010 Nobel predictions are here (and, of course, the Simpsons had their own last year). I don’t have too much to add to my […]

    Pingback by Everyday Scientist » 2011 nobel predictions — September 8, 2011 #

  39. […] for GPCRs. In 2010, I got Heck and Suzuki. (You can find my previous predictions here: 2012, 2011, 2010, all Nobel posts.) Here’s this year’s stab at […]

    Pingback by Everyday Scientist » 2013 Nobel predictions — September 26, 2013 #

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