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Universities Claim Tenuous Nobels

Published tisdag 11 oktober 2005 kl 12.24

The “Los Angeles Times” has discovered that claiming a Nobel laureate is a prestige business for universities.

While 780 prizes have been handed out since 1901, the number claimed at universities reaches into the thousands.

Apparently any connection with a university justifies claiming a prize. While renowned physicist  Hans Bethe spent his entire career at Cornell and economics guru Paul Samuelson is considered the heart and soul of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both are claimed by the University of Chicago, which holds the record, claiming 78 Nobel laureates.

Other interesting examples:

  • Britain’s Cambridge University proudly touts Bertrand Russell as its first Nobel laureate in Literature, without mentioned that the 1950 prize winner was fired for his anti-war activities during World War I.
  • During the Depression both Johns Hopkins and Columbia universities refused to give Maria Gloeppert Mayer a real job, letting her do research as a volunteer. But both were eager to claim credit for her 1963 Physics Prize.

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