Albert Einstein received his Nobel Prize not for the theory of relativity (special 1905, general 1911) or the mass-energy equivalence (1905) but for his 1905 work on the photo-electric effect. I was not aware of the ugly political machinations behind this delayed and arguably misdirected award. By the time the Nobel committee worked out its resentment of Einstein's Jewish heritage and pacifist tendencies, not to mention the controversy over whether the 1919 Eddington experiment had truly confirmed his work, Einstein had suffered the fate of Achilles: the honor had been robbed of its value by the arbitrary partisanship of its awarders.
He that fights fares no better than he that does not; coward and hero are held in equal honour, and death deals like measure to him who works and him who is idle.Einstein didn't return from his trip to the Far East to attend the 1922 ceremony in Stockholm. In 1933, he renounced his German citizenship and moved to the U.S., where in 1939 he was instrumental in persuading President Roosevelt to make this country the world's first nuclear power.
Nobel Prizes are being awarded this week, so far without controversy. The medicine award went to two stem cell researchers, one British and one Japanese, whose work involved not embryonic stem cells but the reprogramming of adult cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. The physics award went to two men, one from Colorado and the other from Paris, whose work with observing quantum particles may lead to advances in supercomputers.