Tom Friedman says:
"If Einstein were alive today and learned science the boring way it is taught in so many U.S. schools, wouldn’t he have ended up at a Wall Street hedge fund rather than developing theories of relativity for a Nobel Prize?"Nobelprize.org says:
"Albert Einstein: 'for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect'"I know I sound like splitting hairs here, but this didn't take more than a quick Google check. More importantly, it's always been very noticeable that he didn't get his prize for relativity, which everyone knows is his most important historical achievement (despite the photoelectric effect, requiring quanta of light, being his most self-admittedly "radical"). It's not hard to dig a little, e.g. this Discover piece from this year, based on research from Robert Marc Friedman (ironic -- wonder if he's a relative?) to get the story that the Nobel Committee actively didn't want him to get a prize for relativity, in a cultural context where "his theories were dismissed as 'world-bluffing Jewish physics' by some prominent German physicists, who claimed to practice "true" German science based on observations of the natural world and hypotheses that could be tested in a laboratory." And while his star was rising in the US, and the physics community pressed for him to get the prize, especially after Eddington confirming general relativity,
1921 was not the year, thanks to one stubborn senior member of the prize committee, ophthalmologist Allvar Gullstrand. "Einstein must never receive a Nobel Prize, even if the whole world demands it," said Gullstrand, according to a Swedish mathematician's diary dug up by Friedman. Gullstrand's arguments, however biased, convinced the rest of the committee. In 1921, the Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded no physics prize.You get the picture. This is a great story about how a politicized culture worked against Einstein at his peak, such that an opthamologist could hold him back. At least one Friedman picked up on this.