Three women who fought for the right to vote, a poet psychologist, men who investigated dark energy, scientists searching for clues to cancer, and a man who discovered quasicrystals have all been recognized by the Swedish Academy for the Nobel prizes this week.
After every award season, the backlash begins, especially with accusations that the Swedish Academy is trying to influence global forces by their awards choice. With the Nobel Peace Prize going to two women from Liberia and one from Yemen, questions have already arisen whether or not the Nobel prize is an attempt to influence the upcoming election in Liberia.
Another kind of criticism, from the late Richard Feynman, can be found in the archives.
A project that works to bring scientific studies to the mainstream via viral videos has launched the Feynman Series, with Feynman narrating over images of the world. In one of the videos, entitled Honors, Feynman discounts the Nobel Prize he won in 1965 for Physics, calling it a “pain in the ---.”
“I don’t see that it makes any point that someone in the Swedish Academy decides that the work is noble enough to recieve a prize... The prize is the pleasure of finding the thing out, kick in the discovery, the observation that other people use it. those are the real things. The honors are unreal,” Fenyman says, as images of the award ceremonies flicker on the screen.