Once Again, a Goose Egg at the Nobels for Russia

This year 12 individuals received Nobel Prizes in six disciplines. Once again, America led the way with five prizes (Economics, Chemistry and Physics), nearly half the total.  France had three, Japan had two and Finland and Germany had one each. It’s enough to make one wonder where the outside world gets the crazy idea that America is in decline.

Russia had zero prizes. Again.

A Russian hasn’t won a Nobel Prize of any kind since 2003 when Vitaly Ginzberg got one for Physics.  But ask any Russian:  someone with a Jewish surname isn’t “really” Russian as far as they’re concerned, and he shared it with two American colleagues.  A “Russian” hasn’t won for literature, the single sphere of human activity for which the country is most renown, since 1987 — and that was Josef Brodsky, who had already defected to the United States.  Russia hasn’t won for chemistry since 1977.

Russia has won 22 Nobel Prizes (including expats) since the award was created.  Germany has 100.  The United States has 300. None of this is surprising, since Russia has chosen to divert the vast majority of its resources towards nationalistic pursuits like the cold war, including ridiculous charades of no value to the nation like the Sochi olympiad, rather than scientific advancement in the service of the people of Russia.

Nuff said.

11 responses to “Once Again, a Goose Egg at the Nobels for Russia

  1. Better no Nobel Prizes than such “Peace” Nobel Prizes as that awarded to Marti Ahtisaari for the dismemberment of Yugoslavia.


    Yet more evidence of the outside world spitting in Russia’s eye, clear proof of the total failure of Putin diplomacy. He has doomed his nation to the ashcan of history.

  2. Paul Krugman won for economics and that is a scandal in itself. It is like if Dmitri Medvedev won the peace prize for his resolution of the Georgian conflict.

  3. “Russia has won 22 Nobel Prizes (including expats) since the award was created. Germany has 100. The United States has 300.”

    This is the difference from a closed, paranoid society that spreads the wealth around vs. an open society that rewards achievement.

    I also wonder how many of those 300 US Nobels were from Russian emigres.

  4. 2Kolchak: You should rather wonder how many Russian Nobel Prize winners were awarded their prizes for the betrayal of their country? Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn, Sakharov, Brodsky…

  5. “Russian medical, mathematical, scientific, and space and aviation research is generally of a high order”

    LaRussophobe. I found this just by chance. What do you have to say about it? Especially in light of the second source being what it is.

    “This is the difference … that rewards achievement.” Tell me, Kolchak, how many scientists in the States made the same or even anything near what heads of big banks made for running their companies and then got paid on top for driving them into the ashcan of history on top of it all. As for spreading wealth around (which as a term for Europeans at least sounds like a good thing, I presume you mean something like spending recklessly) having a surplus of around $100bn and the third largest forex reserves in the world hardly qualifies for that label.


    If it were of a high order, it would receive Nobel prizes — and more important, the world would be full of consumer products reflecting Russian inventions. It isn’t, because Russians are hopelessly backward and arrogantly imperious in their ignorance.

  6. So let me get this straight: you are actually questioning the State Department? I presume you have the resources to know better than them.

    Are you claiming that only Nobel Prize winning research is of high order? That’s an interesting view, ever heard of other awards and distinctions? Probably not, after all you always were “arrogantly imperious in your ignorance”.
    Define full and how do you know when a product “reflects” a Russian invention? It would also be worth noting that research in some fields (e.g. medicine, sometimes physics, astronomy etc) are not “reflected” in consumer products beyond which you clear do not think beyond.

  7. The Nobel Prize has become a political event. Nobody takes them seriously anymore.

    Yasser Arafat got one for strapping bomb belts to pre-adolescent teenagers.

    Jimmy Carter got one for “speaking truth to power” in a society that genuinely protects free speech, how noble.

    Nelson Mandela got one, then proceeded to deprive his people of the rights that he so sincerely advocated for.

    Al Gore got one for inciting panic in something that is a natural cyclical phenomenon.

    The Nobel Prize has become an inside joke, on both sides.

  8. There are people that genuinely earn these awards, but it is overshadowed by these, what I call political appointees.

  9. Dear LR,

    It may come as a surprise to you, but radio is a Russian invention. It were Russians who invented lasers and launched the first manmade earth satellite as well – now the world is full of such consumer products as CDs, DVDs and satellite phones that reflect these inventions.

  10. Eugene said: It were Russians who invented lasers

    Read the “laser” page at wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser ):

    In 1917 Albert Einstein (german), in his paper Zur Quantentheorie der Strahlung (On the Quantum Theory of Radiation), laid the foundation for the invention of the laser

    In 1950, Alfred Kastler (french) (Nobel Prize for Physics 1966) proposed the method of optical pumping

    In 1953, Charles H. Townes (american) and graduate students James P. Gordon and Herbert J. Zeiger produced the first microwave amplifier

    Townes, Basov (soviet), and Prokhorov (soviet) shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1964 “For fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser-laser principle”.

    The first working laser was made by Theodore H. Maiman ‘(american) in 1960 at Hughes Research Laboratories

    Later in 1960 the Iranian physicist Ali Javan, working with William R. Bennett and Donald Herriot, made the first gas laser using helium and neon.

    In 1970, Zhores Alferov in the Soviet Union and Izuo Hayashi (Japanese) and Morton Panish of Bell Telephone Laboratories independently developed laser diodes continuously operating at room temperature, using the heterojunction structure.

    In 1985 at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics a breakthrough in creating ultrashort-pulse, very high-intensity (terawatts) laser pulses became available using a technique called chirped pulse amplification, or CPA, discovered by Gérard Mourou (french).

    The laser is russian, partially, and american, german, american, french, iranian, japanese, and so on, too.

  11. Thomas Edison, again found that sound waves could be carried by light waves. Directed light energy fills the prerequisite of laser.

    I do understand that light energy has its obstacles, but the main obstacle for Edison was “How can we bend light.”

    This man is the precursor to “fiber optics.”

    Is Russia really that far behind? With my last post, about hi-fidelity, I meant higher audio quality than copper cable, which is accurate.

    I did not mean that he invented something that was completely subjective, but he created something that is completely subjective.

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