2014 nobel predictions

September 12, 2014 at 10:07 am | | news, nobel, science and the public

Time for 2014 Nobel Prize predictions. Actually, it’s a little early, but with Lasker Prize announcements, I just couldn’t wait. Here’s my track record:

So here are my 2014 predictions:

ChemistryNanotechnology: Alivisatos, Whitesides, Lieber

MedicineDNA/blottingSouthern, Jefferys, Burnette

PhysicsCloaking/nonlinear optics: Pendry, Harris

Peace: Ebola: Médecins Sans Frontières

Other and past predictions:

Biomolecular motors: Vale, Sheetz, Spudich, Brady

Unfolded protein response: Walter, Mori

Soft lithography and microfluidics: Whitesides, Quake

Chaperonins: Horwich, Hartl, Lindquist, Ellis

Polymers: Frechet, Matyjaszewski, Wang, Willson

Electrochemistry/bioinorganic: Bard, Gray, Lippard

Single-molecule spectroscopy: Moerner [awarded in 2014], Orrit

Solar: Grätzel, Nocera

DNA synthesis: Caruthers

Next-gen sequencing: Webb, Craighead, Klenerman, Church …

Super-resolution optical microscopy: Betzig [awarded in 2014], Hell [awarded in 2014], Zhuang, Hess

NMR and membranes: McConnell

Electron Transfer in DNA/Electrochemical DNA Damage Sensors: Barton, Giese, Schuster

Pd-catalyzed Alkyne/Alkene Coupling and Atom-Economy: Trost

Nuclear hormone receptors: Chambon, Evans, Jensen, O’Malley

Two-photon microscopy: Webb, Denk, Strickler

DNA microarrays: Brown

AIDS: Hütter

The Pill: Djerassi

T-cell receptor: Allison [awarded in 2018], Reinherz, Kappler, Marrack

Suggestions from others:

Quantum dots: Brus

Lithium-ion batteries: Goodenough, Whittingham, Yoshino

CRISPR: Doudna

Optogenetics: Deisseroth, Zemelman, Miesenböck, Isacoff

Other predictions:


Chemistry World

Curious Wavefunction

In the Pipeline

Inside Science

Cocktail Party Physics



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  1. Thanks for the predictions, very interesting. How about for synthetic biology: Venter, Collins, Elowitz, or CRISPR: Doudna, Charpentier?

    Comment by Lars — September 14, 2014 #

  2. Lars, those are good. However, I think that CRISPR could wait a few more years to see the true impact on biomedicine.

    Comment by sam — September 15, 2014 #

  3. Thanks….I think it will be “J. B. Goodenough” for Lithium-ion battery. The world of electronics, communications and potentially transport is powered by Li-ion batteries.

    Comment by V — September 17, 2014 #

  4. Hi V. That’s a great one. My only concern is the long list of names that would reasonably share the prize with Goodenough.

    Comment by sam — September 18, 2014 #

  5. That will be true for any field. If Goodenough gets it the award, it will be with M S Whittingham (original proposer), and Akira Yoshino (who made the device). Though, I also think the Moerner & Orrit have a good chance…not sure whether Xie will make it…

    Comment by V — September 18, 2014 #

  6. True.

    Comment by sam — September 18, 2014 #

  7. any chance for other potential laureates in the field of NMR? I see that you’ve only listed McConnell — how about Bax and Pines?

    Comment by chemicalexchange_19 — September 29, 2014 #

  8. “Pd-catalyzed Alkyne/Alkene Coupling and Atom-Economy: Trost”

    This is a joke, right? A funny joke.

    Comment by Nev — September 30, 2014 #

  9. To not include David R Smith in your physics prediction is very unjust in my opinion.

    Comment by Jon — October 1, 2014 #

  10. Sam, Médecins Sans Frontières already won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999!

    Comment by Kevin H — October 6, 2014 #

  11. I guess I have a hard time seeing a TCR prize that doesn’t reward Mark Davis or Tak Mak as well.

    Comment by thorazine — October 7, 2014 #

  12. “Sam, Médecins Sans Frontières already won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999!”

    And the Red Cross has won it 3 times, 4 if you include the first peace prize that went to the founder. There’s no reason you can’t win multiple, especially if you are an organization.

    Comment by Jim — October 7, 2014 #

  13. I totally agree about J B Goodenough. He should be, have been the winner for Chemistry prize.

    Comment by zhaohui chen — October 7, 2014 #

  14. I predict (a few hours before the announcement) Peter G. Schultz in Chemistry, for expanding the genetic codes of many organisms to include unnatural, lab-synthesized amino acids, which can then be genetically programmed to incorporate into any site of any protein of interest. AND for generating an autonomous 21-amino-acid bacterium, which biosynthesizes a novel, previously unnatural 21st amino acid from basic carbon sources, and incorporates that new amino acid into its genetic code.

    Comment by Goblinshark17 — October 7, 2014 #

  15. Schultz, continued

    Schultz is also the leading pioneer in the development of combinatorial chemsitry–screenable molecular libraries, surface display chips, high-throughput screening methods.

    Comment by Goblinshark17 — October 7, 2014 #

  16. Sorry to read that Harden McConnell died recently. He was always cheerful and insightful at chemistry events when I was at Stanford.

    Comment by sam — October 13, 2014 #

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