Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Which Country Has the Best Brains?


BBC News has an article on which countries produce the most Nobel Prize winners: Which country has the best brains?.

So, which country has the best brains? I love the answer given by John Wilkins, "Surely not the one that cannot work out per capita rates of Nobel Prizes."


  1. As a swede it is always a bit embarrassing to see how many prizes we have given ourselves.

  2. Obviously then, Saint Lucia is the scientific powerhouse :-)

  3. From the BBC article:

    Where the website mentions multiple countries in relation to a prize winner (country of birth; country of citizenship; country of residence at time of award) each of those countries is credited as having won the prize

    So, under this rule, how would they characterize the nationality of, say Albert Einstein? He was born in Germany but the work for which he received the prize was conducted in Switzerland and he later became a US citizen.

  4. It's interesting seeing the breakdown of Nobel winning states. It is impressive how dominating the US (and Europe) have been over the last century. One wonders how the division of prizes will look by the year 2110 with the rise of Asia and Latin America.

  5. Watch out for China, Brazil and Russia. If - not strike that - When tea party nuts win a chokehold over the US economy, expect more lawsuits against scientists like Kookinelli's Crusade against Michael Mann. And then watch as scientists decide it isn't worth the trouble having their grant applications vetted by ignoramuses by the likes of Newt Gingrich, Christine O'Donnell and Sarah Palin. And watch as they pack their bags and fly out of the US for good.
    It will take time but don't bet against it.