Category Archives: awards and honors

U. of Chicago prof wins economics Nobel

This is getting monotonously regular, but it’s still a boost for our reputation. Richard Thaler, 72, a professor of behavioral science and economics at our Booth Business School, just won the Nobel Prize for Economics. He wrote the bestselling book Nudge, which I haven’t read, but I’m sure some readers have, so weigh in below. As […]

Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank, and Richard Henderson (and another contest)

I’m not keeping track on who’s guessed correctly on the biology, physics, chemistry Nobel Prizes, but we may already have a winner. (If you were the first to guess at least one winner in two of those categories, let me know). As announced by many venues this morning, including the New York Times, this year’s Nobel Prize […]

Nobel Prize in physics goes to three for discovering gravity waves

As several readers guessed two days ago, this year’s Nobel Prize for Physics went to Rainer Weiss of MIT, and to Kip Thorne and Barry Barish of CalTech, for detecting gravity waves. (Weiss gets half the dosh, the other two a quarter each.) That discovery happened only a year and a half ago, and that makes […]

Matthew gets Nobel Prize prediction right—four years too early (and a contest)

Four years ago, during Nobel Prize Season, Matthew made a prediction on this site: the 2013 Prize for Medicine and Physiology would go to “Jeff Hall, Michael Rosbash and Mike Young for their work on discovering the mechanism by which ‘clock’ genes work.” Well, Matthew was wrong at the time, but, as the New York […]

The TLS on Plantinga and me

I recently published my take on the award of the Templeton Prize to Alvin Plantinga, a “religious philosopher” (read: “theologian”) whose work consists of untenable arguments couched in unreadable prose.  Rupert Shortt, religion editor of the Times Literary Supplement (TLS), writes about it in a short piece, “Alvin Plantinga and the Templeton Prize“. Google adds that Shortt […]

Templeton abandons pretense of rationality, awards Templeton Prize to Alvin Plantinga, intelligent-design advocate

Reader Mark called my attention to the fact that John Templeton Foundation (JTF) has bestowed its annual Templeton Prize on someone who’s not only a deeply misguided religious philosopher, but also has promoted intelligent design and criticized naturalism. Yes, it’s Alvin Plantinga, an 84-year-old emeritus professor of philosophy at Notre Dame and also a professor at Calvin College […]

U.S. State Department deletes congratulatory tweet for Oscar-winning director who opposed Trump’s immigration order

Well, compared to the damage our new President is likely to do to the country, this incident doesn’t count as much. But it’s a sign of how mean-spirited the administration is. As you may know, Asghar Farhadi, an Iranian director, won the Oscar this year for Best Foreign-Language film for “The Salesman.” (I haven’t yet […]

Damn! I didn’t win Censor of the Year again

Three years ago the “Center for Science and Culture”(CSC) of the creationist no-think tank Discovery Institute (DI) named me “Censor of the Year,” an award they now confer every Darwin Day, but which started with me. And I was so happy to get it! The reason for my award? I helped stop the teaching of Intelligent […]

Why is life the way it is? A talk by Nick Lane

by Matthew Cobb Nick Lane of University College London has just been awarded the Royal Society’s 2016 Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture, which “is awarded annually to the scientist or engineer whose expertise in communicating scientific ideas in lay terms is exemplary”. Nick is a brilliant writer of several books, including Life Ascending and, most recently […]

A monument to lab mice

This photo, from a site apparently called 9gag, is labeled as “In Novosibirsk there is a monument to all the lab mice who lost their lives in DNA research”.   h/t: Arno M.