The original headline was "American Leadership in Science, Measured in Nobel Prizes". That's way cool albeit a bit parochial.
The factoid that has jumped out at me over the years is the number of Israeli Laureates, especially in the hard sciences versus the number of Arab/Muslim winners.
The point was hammered home this year when Daniel Shechtman of Haifa's Technion University won the chemistry prize.
In a bizarre and completely irrelevant note the committee said:
The Nobel Committee for Chemistry at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Shechtman had discovered quasicrystals, which it said were like “fascinating mosaics of the Arabic world reproduced at the level of atoms” and which never repeated themselves.Whatev.
Schectman is the 10th Israeli Laureate.
The Jewish v. Muslim count is just ridiculous, something like 165-10.
The graphic below demonstrates one of America’s most important strengths: its complete dominance of basic scientific research. Each day this week, phone calls will go out from Stockholm or Oslo to tell distinguished academics, writers and peacemakers that they’ve won a Nobel Prize. And, as they have for several decades, a majority of those calls will most likely go to American academics.
That says a great deal about America’s place in the academy. The United States has won more Nobel prizes for physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, and economics since World War II than any other country, by a wide margin (it has been less dominant in literature and peace, two awards that are much more broadly distributed among nations). At least one American has won a prize each year since 1935 (excluding the years 1940 through 1942, when no prizes were given out). And the United States became dominant after a very slow start: no American won a science prize in the first six years of the prize’s existence.
(click to enlarge)
The United States is also unique in the scale on which it attracts human capital: of the 314 laureates who won their Nobel prize while working in the U.S., 102 (or 32%) were foreign born, including 15 Germans, 12 Canadians, 10 British, six Russians and six Chinese (twice as many as have received the award while working in China). Compare that to Germany, where just 11 out of 65 Nobel laureates (or 17%) were born outside of Germany (or, while it still existed, Prussia). Or to Japan, which counts no foreigners at all among its nine Nobel laureates....MORE