Saturday, 18 September 2010

Distribution of Nobel Prizes over Time

Read an interesting article with some informative graphs this morning. The article is "Evolution of National Nobel Prize Shares in the 20th Century" by J¨urgen Schmidhuber. It has a collection of graphs like the one above (showing all science prizes by country of citizenship) showing the percentage of Nobel Prizes won in different areas by the country of birth, and also by the country of citizenship at the time of the award.

They really worked at making it accurate, by allocating partial winners credit. I didn't know that many times the prize is awarded to three or more people, but not equally. One may get half and the other two a fourth, for example.

Here is the abstract: "We analyze the evolution of cumulative national shares of Nobel Prizes since 1901, properly taking into account that most prizes were divided among several laureates. We rank by citizenship at the moment of the award, and by country of birth. Surprisingly, graphs of this type have not been published before, even though they powerfully illustrate the century’s migration patterns (brain drains and gains) in the sciences and other fields."

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