Contradictory Nobels

The Sydney Morning Herald reports of an article published by federal Treasury, on the “Nobel Prize in Economics”. I put the scare quotes in so as to note that its not a real Nobel Prize, but rather the The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

Anyway moving on from the snobbishness, the SMH article reports that despite some fairly large contradictions between different areas of economics, the awards seem to have been distributed around fairly, noting:

As the joke goes, economics is the only field in which two people can share a Nobel Prize for saying opposing things. Gunnar Myrdal and Friedrich von Hayek come to mind.

On this score the economists shouldn’t feel to bad. Physics has the noted example of J.J. Thomson and his son George Paget Thomson who won Nobel Prizes in 1906 and 1937 respectively. The curious thing about this pair of Nobel winners being that the father J.J. Thomson won the Nobel Prize for showing that the electron was a particle, whereas the son, George Paget Thomson, won his Nobel Prize for showing that the electron was a wave.


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