An empirical study of the per capita yield of science Nobel prizes : is the US era coming to an end?

  • We point out that the Nobel prize production of the USA, the UK, Germany and France has been in numbers that are large enough to allow for a reliable analysis of the long-term historical developments. Nobel prizes are often split, such that up to three awardees receive a corresponding fractional prize. The historical trends for the fractional number of Nobelists per population are surprisingly robust, indicating in particular that the maximum Nobel productivity peaked in the 1970s for the USA and around 1900 for both France and Germany. The yearly success rates of these three countries are to date of the order of 0.2–0.3 physics, chemistry and medicine laureates per 100 million inhabitants, with the US value being a factor of 2.4 down from the maximum attained in the 1970s. The UK in contrast managed to retain during most of the last century a rate of 0.9–1.0 science Nobel prizes per year and per 100 million inhabitants. For the USA, one finds that the entire history of science Noble prizes is described on a per capita basis to an astonishing accuracy by a single large productivity boost decaying at a continuously accelerating rate since its peak in 1972.

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Author:Claudius GrosORCiDGND
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Royal Society Open Science
Publisher:Royal Soc. Publ.
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2018
Date of first Publication:2018/05/09
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/08/14
Tag:Nobel prizes; predictive modelling; science of sciences
Issue:5, Art. 180167
Page Number:5
First Page:1
Last Page:5
© 2018 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Institutes:Physik / Physik
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 50 Naturwissenschaften / 500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0