Liveblogging the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

October 8th, 2013

In keeping with ChemBark tradition, I’ll be liveblogging the announcement of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry tomorrow morning. Stop by this thread to talk everything Nobel and listen to enthralling commentary about making lecture slides for my Wednesday orgo lecture on elimination reactions of alkyl halides.

ChemBark Medallion

ChemBark’s Official List of Odds for the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry


Liveblog entries after the jump…

T+00:57:00 — Alrighty, then. Way to go, Karplus. The nice thing about this prize is that I’m not so worked up I won’t be able to go back to sleep and catch some more z’s before sunrise. G’night.

T+00:48:00 — OK, so 1998 was all quantum. Today’s guys pioneered a quantum/classical mix.

T+00:44:00 — I’m looking forward to when Ash at Curious Wavefunction weighs in on this Prize. His expertise is computation and he’s sure to have excellent insight about the mix of chemists selected.

T+00:38:00 — Some opinions from Twitter…

T+00:34:00 — Computational chemists: do you think anyone here was snubbed? Schleyer? Allinger? Houk?

T+00:27:00 — If you’re going to recognize computation and theory, Karplus seems an obvious selection. I’m not sure how you go about selecting only two more to round out the prize.

T+00:21:00 — The press conference is over, and it was absolutely useless.

T+00:21:00 — This is a lifetime-achievement award to Karplus, right? The first such award since the Nobel to E.J. Corey in 1990 for the (also very general) “theory and methodology of organic synthesis”?

T+00:15:00 — Didn’t they already give a prize to computational people in 1998? </half-joking>

T+00:10:00 — Someone please get Bill Nye the Science Guy to put these presenters out of their misery.

T+00:08:00 — The press conference explaining what this prize is for has been all hand-waving for five straight minutes.

T+00:05:00 — And, once again, what the hell do I know? I said I thought theory was a longshot during the C&EN video roundtable last week.

T+00:03:00 — Theory and computation for two days in a row.

T+00:02:00 — Karplus, Levitt, and Warshel!

T+00:00:10 — Feed is live!

T-00:01:36 — Now the excitement is starting to combat the crankiness.

T-00:05:24 — Don’t know why, but my gut says this one is going to a biologist.

T-00:07:36 — OK. I’m up. I am either way too old to be up this late or not old enough to be up this early.

T-09:52:00 — A lovely recording (mp3) from yesterday of the phone call where Thomas Südhof learned he had won a share of this year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine (h/t Chemjobber). While the stakes yesterday were many orders of magnitude higher, it still reminds me of the time I made the finals of the Westinghouse (now Intel) STS. The organizers call each of the finalists before their names are released to the press. My call came on Super Bowl Sunday in 1998, and I was sure it was a joke. I spent the first two minutes saying things like “Brad, I know it’s you, give it up” before I finally allowed myself to consider the possibility the call was not a crank. The staffers remembered it two months later when we arrived in DC for the competition.

T-12:49:00 — Interesting link from a friend: the typical Nobel laureate in chemistry is a 50- or 60-something male who’s married and clean-shaven.

T-16:26:00 — The prize in chemistry is on the clock. It was very nice of the medicine & physiology committee to pick off two potential sets of chemistry winners with their award to Rothman, Schekman, and Südhof for elucidating the regulation of vesicle traffic.

14 Responses to “Liveblogging the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry”

  1. Chad Jones Says:

    “the typical Nobel laureate in chemistry is a 50- or 60-something male who’s married and clean-shaven”

    And without glasses. I guess the ChemBark dog is out (I’ve always thought they must be glasses to be shaped like that).

  2. Paul Bracher Says:

    Nope. Ed has naturally hexagonal eyes, like any true organic chemist.

  3. Kyle Grice Says:

    I am going to wake up early and check in to follow your live blogging. I am giving a short presentation in my gen chem lecture at the beginning of class tomorrow about who won the nobel prize and why (I talked about the medicine/physiology one on monday).

  4. A_Biologist Says:

    The Chembark Chemistry live blog is my favorite event of October every year. Thank you.

  5. A_Biologist Says:

    Chemistry Nobel liveblog*

  6. Neil Says:

    Paul, I bet there’s a good blogpost waiting to be written about the STS – like Derek’s Jeopardy experience.

    17 minutes to go…

  7. woo! Says:

    goooo karplus coupling!

  8. Mike Says:

    Harvard CCB FTW!

  9. Birdie Says:

    Hurray for theoretical chemistry!

  10. chem Says:

    Martin Karplus Michael Levitt Arieh Warshel

  11. Birdie Says:

    “Didn’t they already give a prize to computational people in 1998?” — well, they already gave it many times to the people who do the cooking, so it’s only fair that it can also go to real scientists


  12. Vilsmeier-Haack Says:

    So Sven Lidin, Chairman of the Nobel Committee said ” theory has become the new experiment.” What a load of crap that is.

  13. Curious Wavefunction Says:

    Very nice to see my own field being recognized! Houk and Allinger were both serious contenders but since he prize was clearly awarded to “multiscale modeling” the choice of these three gentlemen makes sense. Bill Goddard would have also have been a possibility in this regard. Definitely a lifetime achievement award for a general concept rather than for a specific discovery.

  14. Paul Bracher Says:

    Thanks, CW. Enjoy the day!

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