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The implications of educational and methodological background for the career success of Nobel laureates: an investigation of major awards

Author

Listed:
  • Ho Fai Chan

    (Queensland University of Technology)

  • Benno Torgler

    () (Queensland University of Technology
    EBS Business School
    CREMA, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts)

Abstract

Nobel laureates have achieved the highest recognition in academia, reaching the boundaries of human knowledge and understanding. Owing to past research, we have a good understanding of the career patterns behind their performance. Yet, we have only limited understanding of the factors driving their recognition with respect to major institutionalized scientific honours. We therefore look at the award life cycle achievements of the 1901–2000 Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine. The results show that Nobelists with a theoretical orientation achieved more awards than laureates with an empirical orientation. Moreover, it seems their educational background shapes their future recognition. Researchers educated in Great Britain and the US tend to attract more awards than other Nobelists, although there are career pattern differences. Among those, laureates educated at Cambridge or Harvard are more successful in Chemistry, those from Columbia and Cambridge excel in Physics, while Columbia educated laureates dominate in Physiology or Medicine.

Suggested Citation

  • Ho Fai Chan & Benno Torgler, 2015. "The implications of educational and methodological background for the career success of Nobel laureates: an investigation of major awards," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 102(1), pages 847-863, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:102:y:2015:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1367-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-014-1367-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Benno Torgler & Marco Piatti, 2011. "A Century of American Economic Review," Working Papers 2011.27, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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    4. David W. Johnston & Marco Piatti & Benno Torgler, 2013. "Citation success over time: theory or empirics?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 95(3), pages 1023-1029, June.
    5. Ho Fai Chan & Laura Gleeson & Benno Torgler, 2014. "Awards before and after the Nobel Prize: A Matthew effect and/or a ticket to one’s own funeral?," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 210-220.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ho Fai Chan & Ali Sina Önder & Benno Torgler, 2015. "Do Nobel laureates change their patterns of collaboration following prize reception?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 105(3), pages 2215-2235, December.
    2. R. Bjørk, 2020. "The journals in physics that publish Nobel Prize research," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 122(2), pages 817-823, February.
    3. Ho Fai Chan & Franklin G. Mixon & Benno Torgler, 2019. "Fame in the sciences: a culturomics approach," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 118(2), pages 605-615, February.
    4. John P A Ioannidis & Ioana-Alina Cristea & Kevin W Boyack, 2020. "Work honored by Nobel prizes clusters heavily in a few scientific fields," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(7), pages 1-11, July.
    5. Thomas Heinze & Arlette Jappe & David Pithan, 2019. "From North American hegemony to global competition for scientific leadership? Insights from the Nobel population," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(4), pages 1-14, April.
    6. Ho F. Chan & Franklin G. Mixon & Benno Torgler, 2018. "Relation of early career performance and recognition to the probability of winning the Nobel Prize in economics," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 114(3), pages 1069-1086, March.
    7. Weilong Bi & Ho Fai Chan & Benno Torgler, 2020. "“Beauty” premium for social scientists but “unattractiveness” premium for natural scientists in the public speaking market," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 7(1), pages 1-9, December.
    8. R. Bjørk, 2019. "The age at which Noble Prize research is conducted," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 119(2), pages 931-939, May.

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