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Jason Sheltzer @JSheltzer
, 13 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
The Nobel Prize in Medicine will be announced this coming Monday. You might think that the winner is a secret, but, with some degree of confidence, you can narrow it down to some likely candidates -
In science, there’s a well-known phenomenon called “the Matthew effect”. In short, the rich get richer. People who successfully get their first grant tend to also get the next one, people who win one prestigious scientific prize tend to win many others.…
(This phenomenon – and its cousin, the Matilda effect – likely contributes to the lack of female Nobel Laureates. A series of small biases, compounded over time, can lead to immense cumulative disadvantages.…
Just like how you can predict the Oscar winners each year by looking at who wins the Golden Globes and the SAG awards, there are a series of prizes that scientists almost always win before getting the Nobel.
Nearly every recent Nobel Laureate in Med/Phys won a Lasker, Gairdner, Albany, Shaw, Wolf, or Breakthrough Prize before getting the Nobel. So by looking at the recent winners of these awards, you can narrow down a likely set of candidates.
Using this metric, the most likely winners are Jim Allison and Alex Varshavsky, who have won 5 out of 6 of the “predictor” prizes.
Varshavsky is a unique case – he made fundamental contributions to the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation, and was controversially left out when a prize was given for this in 2004. It’s unlikely a second prize would be given here.…
I’d say that this makes Jim Allison a favorite for the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine.
Next up are Horwich, Mori, Evans, Walter, Ambros, and Ruvkun, at 4 each. The only person I can find who’s 6 for 6 is Shinya Yamanaka, who won the Nobel in 2012.
Where does this leave the CRISPR, which absolutely will win a Nobel at some point? Doudna/Charpentier are winning the pre-prize race with 3 each, suggesting that they’d win it over Zhang/Horvath/Barrangou (at 2, 1, 1, respectively).
But, to go out on a limb here, I’d say that there will be a Lasker Prize for CRISPR before a Nobel, and whichever subset win the Lasker would be favorites for the Nobel.
Anyway, if you're absolutely disgusted by what's happening right now with Kavanaugh and the Senate and want to think about something else... tell me who you think will be getting that 3AM phone call from Sweden on Monday morning?
oh, and, because we live in hell world, the Nobel Prize isn't actually so far removed from Kavanaugh.

There won't be a Nobel Prize in literature this year because one of the jurists harassed 18 different women:…
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