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Wrong Nobel Prize?

Notes and queries | From the Guardian

Has the Nobel prize for science ever been awarded for something that turned out to be just plain wrong?

Send answers to nq@guardian.co.uk. Please include name, address and phone number.

Al Gore won the Peace Prize, not a science prize, though he should have got that for inventing the Internet.


I think a chap called Tim Berners-Lee was there before Al Gore.

Err, no. Berners-Lee is a parvenu. The internet was invented in the 60's.

The time lag between the discovery of Nobel-quality research and its award with a trip to Stockholm makes it very unlikely that such research is simply erroneous. This lag has led to great injustice, since the prize cannot be awarded posthumously (and can't be split more than three ways.) Findings can be superseded, but a quick perusal of the list of Laureates doesn't throw up any obvious mistakes. Generally the best you can argue is that the wrong person was honoured, not that the work being honoured was false.

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