One of the main reasons for creating a blog that tracks coverage of the 2011 Nobel Prizes is to fill a hole that I often encountered in my job as an editor at Nobelprize.org.
Trawling through archives to write about Nobel Prizes, what was regularly missing was a true appreciation of the Prizes at the time that they were awarded. This element of context is extremely valuable. For example, to fully appreciate any instances of research or Laureates that turned out to be controversial, or controversial research/Laureates that turned out to be a seemingly obvious selection, we need to know more about the prizes at the time they were awarded, not merely view them through the prism of time.
The overabundance of information sources we have nowadays should take care of this, and yet this presents its own difficulties. Sure, all the big news organizations file their report on the prizes, but beyond this lie lesser-read gems where people provide a more personal perspective on the research or Laureates, discussions and arguments develop, and images tell their own story. To find this, though, requires finding the needles in the haystack.
So, this gave me the idea for a Nobel Prize Watch blog. Track the coverage of this year’s announcements for all the Nobel Prizes, and post and link to a selection of the most interesting/provocative stories, controversies and arguments that develop before and after the announcements. In other words, treat the news of the prizes as a process instead of a finished product.
I’ll mention more about how this will be done in the next post, but all things going well, I hope that this blog will provide a valuable information archive, and in the process I hope that it provides some form of interest to you.