Saturday, December 10, 2022

Time introduces the 2022 Nobel Prize winners plus the Innovator of the Year for Nobel Prize Day

As I promised twice, I'm covering the Innovator of the Year for Nobel Prize Day today, but I'm saving that for after I feature the this year's prize winners themselves. Watch Meet the 2022 Nobel Prize Winners from Time Magazine.

The Peace Prize is one of six awards established by Swedish chemist (and inventor of dynamite) Alfred Nobel in 1895. The prize is considered the most expansive in its recognition, given that it awards people “who have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.”
As I wrote last year, "The Peace Prize recipients generally piss people off and I'm O.K. with that as long they piss off the right people. I think this year's prize qualifies." So does this year's and I'm O.K. with that.

If one counted the categories carefully in the first video, one would have noticed Time Magazine only covered five, the ones actually created by Alfred Nobel himself. The sixth prize recognizes economics; it was created decades later by the Bank of Sweden, named in honor of Nobel, and is administered by the Nobel Foundation.* The Economic Times reported on the announcement in Former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke along with two academics awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Economics.

Douglas W. Diamond, economist at the University of Chicago, and Philip H. Dybvig at Washington University in St. Louis won the prize alongside Mr Bernanke for the role banks play during financial turmoil.
While I had fun with Bernanke when he was Chairman of the Federal Reserve, calling him Helicopter Ben, I have the same opinion of his winning this award that I did when Robert Shiller won the economics prize in 2013 — he deserves it and it's about time.

Speaking of time, pun intended, here is the recognition I've been telegraphing for two days: The James Webb Telescope Team: TIME Innovator of the Year 2022, which might contribute to future Nobel prizes.

The James Webb telescope has come to represent something larger and grander than all of us. The long effort to get the spacecraft built, the mission it was assigned—searching for clues to the very origins of the universe—have worked a certain transcendent good. From the hands of a team of thousands of researchers, engineers, and factory-line workers came a ship that, if it doesn’t exactly kick open the doors to the secrets of the cosmos, at least parts the curtain. “This beautiful machine,” says senior project scientist John Mather, “has worked in every way that it was supposed to work.”
Consider this a down payment on the entry about the James Webb Space Telescope I promised in 2021 in space from NASA, ESA, and Reuters. I expect to write the rest of it when I recap the year in space for 2022. In the meantime, congratulations to all the winners and stay tuned for the Entertainers of the Year as the Sunday entertainment feature.

*A more literal translation of Sveriges Riksbank is Swedish Royal Bank, but the official translation is Bank of Sweden, so I'm going with that.

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