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article imagePredicting the next Nobel Prizes

By Tim Sandle     Sep 27, 2014 in Science
Using citation statistics, the Thomson Reuters is forecasting which researchers are likely to take home science’s top honors this year: the Nobel Prizes.
The Nobel Prize refers to a set of annual international awards bestowed in a number of categories by Swedish and Norwegian committees in recognition of cultural and/or scientific advances. The prizes are generally regarded as the most prestigious in the world.
This year's prizes are set to be announced during October (6 - 13th). As part of the build up, many have been speculating who will win the main prizes. Among those participating in the guessing game is the information resource provider Thomson Reuters. For this, Thomson Reuters has released the names of its latest batch of “Citation Laureates.” Essentially, the science publisher has looked at research published and seen which studies have received the most citations during the year.
According to The Scientist, since it began this annual exercise in 2002, the publisher has correctly picked 36 Nobel Laureates out of the 211 total names it has put forth, though not all of the Citation Laureates became Nobelists in the same year they made the company’s cut.
These are the 2014 Citation Laureates in Physiology or Medicine:
Rockefeller University’s James Darnell, professor emeritus, and Robert Roeder, professor, as well as UC Berkeley biochemist Robert Tjian for “fundamental discoveries concerning eukaryotic transcription and gene regulation.”
David Julius, a molecular biologist at the University of California, San Francisco, for “elucidating molecular mechanisms of pain sensation.”
Scientific Director of the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine Charles Lee, University of Toronto genomicist Stephen Scherer, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory geneticist Michael Wigler for “their discovery of large-scale copy number variation and its association with specific diseases.”
Here are Thomson Reuters’s picks for this year’s prize in Chemisty:
Charles Kresge, chief technology officer at international oil company Saudi Aramco, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology chemist Ryong Ryoo, and UC Santa Barbara researcher Galen Stucky for “design of functional mesoporous materials.”
A trio of researchers at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO): Graeme Moad, Ezio Rizzardo, and San Thang for “development of the reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization process.”
University of Rochester chemical engineer Ching Tang and Steven Van Slyke, chief technology officer at Bay Area tech company Kateeva, for “their invention of the organic light emitting diode.”
It will be interesting to see if these predictions are correct in a few weeks time.
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