DailyDirt: Winning A Nobel Prize And Thinking Differently

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

A fairly sizable list of Nobel laureates suffer from Nobel disease -- a phenomenon in which respected scientists publicly espouse somewhat crazy ideas. Perhaps just being famous also causes this affliction...? Or maybe there should be more research on this topic, worthy of an Ig Nobel award. In any case, here are a few links on some Nobel prize winners that demonstrate these people are still human. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
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Filed Under: james watson, kary mullis, linus pauling, megadose, nobel disease, nobel prize, vitamin c


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  • identicon
    RR, 18 Dec 2014 @ 5:14pm

    Wording

    I believe nearly every scientist would support research that suggests a current theory is wrong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2014 @ 7:13pm

      Re: Wording

      The scientific community is addled with ridicule and hubris.

      Go and look at the annals of history where more than plenty of great inventors were scoffed at and resisted by the scientific community... prompting this old saying.

      Science progresses one funeral at a time.

      Or better yet...

      "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."

      ~Max Planck

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    randomjoe (profile), 18 Dec 2014 @ 7:11pm

    What you seem to be saying

    Is that the consensus is always right and nobody should bother questioning it?

    Just curious.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 18 Dec 2014 @ 8:05pm

      Re: What you seem to be saying

      If the consensus is backed by the available evidence, and the opposing idea(s) aren't, then yeah, I'd say go with the consensus. If both sides have solid, verifiable evidence backing their positions, then that means it's time to do more research, and see about reconciling the difference.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        mdpopescu (profile), 18 Dec 2014 @ 8:52pm

        Re: Re: What you seem to be saying

        This is a very nice answer that doesn't actually mean anything. AS A FUCKING LAYMAN, who doesn't have access / time / expertise to evaluate the evidence, how do you determine? (My choice is: the consensus is usually wrong, but I'm in the minority :P.)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Frok (profile), 18 Dec 2014 @ 11:53pm

        truth by consensus always ends well

        Why not 'go with the evidence'? [assuming it exists]

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 18 Dec 2014 @ 8:01pm

    Just because someone's smart in one field, doesn't mean they're not an idiot in another.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Emil Kirkegaard, 18 Dec 2014 @ 9:28pm

    Watson

    The difference being that in the case of Watson, that his comments were not crazy but firmly supported by the evidence. This is not the case for Mullis or Pauling's ideas.

    E.g. a review of the evidence is here: http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2007/10/james-watson-tells-inconvenient-truth_296.php

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Frok (profile), 18 Dec 2014 @ 11:52pm

    no bell prize?

    Ignoring the heat from the sun driving the climate can win one a nobel prize. Tyrants have won nobel prizes.

    Other than melting down the gold trophy why should anyone care about recipients 'accomplishments'?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2014 @ 1:40am

    the nobel prize system just isn't all that prestigious anymore.

    You have people that buy their way in, people that are awarded just to make a political statement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Another Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2014 @ 6:04am

    Linus Pauling

    Pauling is an example of anyone who decides to weigh in on an area outside of his/her field of expertise, and depends on their celebrity status to carry the day. That kind of hubris isn't just restricted to scientists. Every day you hear about actors, politicians, and so on (even on this site) pontificating on subjects they have no knowledge of.

    Intellectual integrity is truly a rare thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    mattshow (profile), 19 Dec 2014 @ 8:07am

    I suppose if you die from a vitamin C overdose, your chances of catching a cold or being diagnosed with cancer do drop significantly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 19 Dec 2014 @ 10:55am

    I don't know about preventing colds and cancers, but vitamin C megadoses can dramatically reduce the amount of time you spend sick once you actually catch the cold.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bo, 6 Aug 2015 @ 5:24am

    Quackery

    Linus Pauling is hardly a quack, and as far as hubris, he took no end of flack and loss of reputation for fighting against above ground nuclear testing, which they've calculated killed 10k or more Americans. He was branded a communist for wanting to save American lives.
    Now if you look at the average life span of doctors, they live a few years less than the average person. Meanwhile all of the doctors I've been able to find that took 1 gram or more vit c till the end, lived on average about 9 years longer than the average person. Guess who's advice I'm going to take.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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