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On the Nobel Prize Committee

September 6, 2005

The May 2005 issue of the National Geographic has an interesting article on the Nobel committee and Albert Einstein. Apparently, the Nobel committee was really determined to deny Albert Einstein a Nobel Prize, even if the entire world demanded it. So much for the honesty and integrity of the Nobel committee. Quoting from the article:

In 11 different years, Einstein was nominated only to be rejected. One Nobel committee member wrote Einstein must never receive a Nobel Prize even if the entire world demands it. The entire world did demand it, and Einstein got the 1921 Nobel — for his contributions to physics and for his 1905 paper on the photoelectric effect. He showed that light behaves not only as a wave but also as a stream of particles, or quanta. The committe directed Einstein not to mention relativity in his acceptance lecture [emphasis added]. He did so anyway. — Heidi Schultz

This seems to be suggestive of why Hayek received the Nobel Prize only the year after Mises died, when it could no-longer be awarded to Mises. It is also arguable that just as Einstein could have (rather should have) received the Nobel for relativity, so too can an argument be made that Mises and Hayek could have received the Nobel Prize for their contributions to the socialist calculation debate.

Of course, then, the mainstream economists — such as crackpot Paul Samuelson — were still thoroughly convinced that the USSR would overtake the US economically. In fact, in the edition of Economics just before the USSR collapsed, Samuelson still argued such. This, from an "economist" who claims adherence to the fact.

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