Who will receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Literature and Economics, and who will receive the Peace Prize? It is impossible to predict, but an accurate prediction can be made.
Predicting who will be awarded the Nobel Prize is at least a thankless task. As you know, the names of all nominees are kept secret, not only until the announcement of the winners, but also for the next 50 years after that - these are the rules. Therefore, all the predictions that accompany the Nobel Prize are usually based either on public opinion or on data on the most popular rates in bookmakers.
However, in natural science nominations, everything is not as unpredictable as in others. There is a clear indicator by which one can determine the influence of a particular discovery - this is the citation index of a scientific article. He demonstrates how often this work is referenced by other scientists in their research.
It is citation that Thomson Reuters uses in its annual "Nobel" forecasts. This is probably the only more or less reliable source on which it is possible (albeit with varying degrees of success) to answer the questions "who" and "why" before the official announcement of the winners.
Since 2002, Thomson Reuters has predicted 35 Nobel Prizes; of these, 9 - in the year of the forecast, and 16 - within two years after it.
Since no other organization in the world has a more accurate result, we selected the current forecast from Thomson Reuters in order to find out who can receive the Nobel in chemistry this year.
The forecast mentions three discoveries that, according to the authors, could win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
In particular, it could be the "development of functional mesoporous materials" by an international team of scientists from Saudi Arabia, South Korea and the United States. "Mesoporous" in this case is one with holes-pores of nanoscale (from 2 to 50 nanometers). Mesoporous materials based on silicon dioxide (silica) can be used to create special nanodevices that will independently deliver drugs through vessels, for example, precisely to cancer cells.
The awards include Charles T. Kresge of Saudi Aramco, Ryong Ryoo of Korea's Leading Science and Technology Institute, and Galen D. Stucky of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
The second discovery for which the chemistry prize could be awarded is the Reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization process, developed by scientists at the Australian National Science and Applied Research Organization (CSIRO) … This method opens up prospects for more accurate assembly of polymers (for example, plastics), which will significantly improve the quality of these materials. This could affect many industries, from automotive to household electrical appliances, wherever polymers are used.
Three specialists can become laureates, all from CSIRO. They are Graeme Moad, Ezio Rizzardo and San H. Thang.
Finally, the potentially "Nobel" discovery mentioned in the forecast and receiving the most media attention ahead of the announcement of the winners was the "invention of organic light-emitting diodes" (OLED), which is attributed to the American-Chinese team of two scientists - Steven Van Slyke. from Kateeva, and Ching W. Tang from the University of Rochester.
OLED should not be confused with an energy-saving blue LED (belongs to inorganic light-emitting diodes - LED), for the development of which a physics prize has already been awarded.OLED is currently widely used in various electrical engineering, for example, in the latest smartphones and tablets, as well as televisions. OLED displays achieve high brightness and contrast, have smaller (relative to liquid crystal screens) dimensions and weight, and the scope of this technology continues to expand. It is important to note that OLED allows for flexible display designs.
Thus, LEDs could win two Nobels at once this year, which says a lot about the meaning and prospects of light-emitting diode technology - be it energy-saving blue LED or OLED.
The next Nobel laureate for literature will be announced on Thursday. It is much more difficult to predict here - quantitative factors such as the number of books sold may not play any role at all.
The Guardian, for example, uses data from the major UK-based bookmaker Ladbrokes. Considering Ladbrokes' knowledge of the most popular bets, there are three favorites.
The three, it must be admitted, turned out to be extremely motley. In first place is the Kenyan writer Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, who was already considered a potential laureate in 2010, but never received the award. The second place is taken by the outstanding Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. Sometimes he is called "the eternal challenger", and this has certain reasons: Murakami has been the favorite of the literary "Nobel" for 10 years, but all this time the Nobel Committee bypasses the author and selects other candidates.
The third place - and this is especially curious - is taken by the Belarusian journalist and writer Svetlana Aleksievich, who, like the previous two authors, was already called a favorite, but has not yet received the award.
Also on the Guardian list are authors such as popular American writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Roth and legendary musician Bob Dylan.
The winner in the most controversial category - the Peace Prize - will be announced on Friday.
Many publications agree that Edward Snowden can receive the award - of course, for exposing the American special services and publishing classified data on the WikiLeaks website.
Also among the favorites are Pope Francis, 17-year-old Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yusufzai, who advocates affordable education for women around the world, and even Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The "Nobel" week will end with the announcement of the winners in the field of economics, which will take place on Monday 13 October.
Here it is worth again turning to the Thomson Reuters forecast, since the citation index is absolutely true for scientific articles in the field of economics.
As with the chemistry forecast, Thomson Reuters cites three “achievements” that could be honored with the Nobel.
The first, and the most frequently mentioned in the media, is the "contribution to the theory of entrepreneurship" made by American researchers William J. Baumol and Israel M. Kirzner of New York University. This does not mean a specific discovery, but the fruitful work of scientists over many decades. The age of the researchers should also be taken into account - 92 and 84 years, respectively.
The second significant achievement is the "contribution to the theory of economic growth of Schumpeter" by the American scientists Philippe M. Aghion of Harvard University and Robert C. Wagoner of Brown University.
The last, third achievement, belongs not to a group of scientists, but to an individual researcher - and again an American. Mark S. Granovetter of Stanford University can win the Nobel alone, according to Thomson Reuters, for his work in economic sociology and social network theory.