Nobel Prize Week In Review

Oct 8, 2018

Nobel Week for scientists -- it's like the World Series and Super Bowl Sunday all wrapped into one. In recent years the excitement has been surrounded by controversy: about who does and who doesn't end up on the winner's list.

This year's Nobel laureates have figured out how to use lasers to hold and cut microscopic objects; how to use the process of evolution to create new versions of everything from biofuels to pharmaceuticals, and how to harness the immune system to fight cancer.

Just two of the eight new winners are women. That's actually more than usual. And there's not a single person of color on the list.

There have also been the perennial complaints that an important contributor was overlooked.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has announced changes to the nomination process for next year's prizes in hopes that it will address some of these issues and concerns. But is it enough?

Living Lab Radio talks with Brian Uzzi, the Richard L. Thomas professor of leadership and organizational change at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

His research has looked at how past knowledge and teamwork translate into future advances and how prestigious prizes affect the trajectory of science.