Category Archives: awards and honors

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.

Biden gets the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Now tell me that this video from yesterday (longer 17-minute version here) doesn’t bring a tear to your eye—it sure did to Biden’s—or at least a glow in your heart. Here Vice-President Joe Biden, a good man, is surprised by President Obama awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. God, I’ll miss […]

Paul Beatty wins Man Booker Prize, a first for an American writer

Although I haven’t read Paul Beatty’s novel The Sellout, I will now, for it’s just won the Man Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary award. I’ve found the Booker Prize a reliable source for good literature: that’s the way I originally came upon Paul Scott’s The Raj Quartet (its sequel, Staying On, won the Booker in […]

Bob Dylan gets Nobel Prize for literature!!!!

Well knock me over with a feather: this is something that NOBODY expected, and of course no reader guessed in the contest. My CNN Newsfeed reports this: Bob Dylan is awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, the Swedish Academy says. The Wall Street Journal adds this: The 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to musician […]

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded—and a contest

It’s that time of year again. . . and the lucky recipient for the Physiology or Medicine Prize is (envelope, please). . . .Yoshinori Ohsumi, a professor in Tokyo Institute of Technology’s Frontier Research Center. The Nobel citation begins like this: This year’s Nobel Laureate discovered and elucidated mechanisms underlying autophagy, a fundamental process for degrading and recycling […]

Aslan wins James Joyce Award

One proof that there’s no God (or at least a just and merciful one) is the triumph of the unjust and ill-deserving. And one of the best pieces of evidence of that sort is Reza Aslan’s ascendancy as a religious and cultural pundit. Here’s the latest argument against God’s existence: Aslan has just won the prestigious James Joyce […]

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks wins Templeton Prize

It was announced this morning that Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, chief Rabbi of the UK and Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013, will receive this year’s £1.1 million Templeton Prize. As the Jerusalem Post noted: Sacks said the prize money would enable and encourage him to continue his work promoting the voice of religion in the public […]

My new toy!

Sue Strandberg, who notes that she comments on this site under the name “Sastra,” is responsible for designing the Richard Dawkins Award trophies and getting them made. Each statue is tailored to the work or interests of the recipient. The only limitation is that the object must be a replica of a fossil. So, for example, […]

Writer Svetlana Alexievich of Belarus wins Nobel Prize for literature

The Nobel Prizes I follow most closely are those in biology (“Physiology or Medicine”) and literature. This year’s literature prize was just announced, and it went to Svetlana Alexievich, a writer from Belarus born in 1948. I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t heard of her, but the Nobel Committee cited her for “her polyphonic writings, a monument to […]

Nobel Prizes go to three for malaria and roundworm treatment

It’s Nobel season again, and I’ve again put the bottle of champagne to chill in my lab refrigerator (it’s now three decades old). But sadly, the Prize in Medicine or Physiology was just awarded to three people, none of them named Coyne. The Nobel website is short on details (and lacking photos), but the Guardian has more […]