“In past experience, the only phone call at that time of night is bad news,” he said. This was great news.
“You know the failure of Bob Dylan?” he said during a phone interview with Granthshala. “Maybe it gave them wind.”
In addition to always posing on college campuses in the 1960s, Peebles, an expert in theoretical cosmology, has little to do with Dylan. But his reactions to winning the Nobel may be one of the most stark contrasts – and the lyricist is far from the only laureate whose coronation turned out to be an oddity.
The five committees are notoriously secretive, defending their choices from the outside world—including the prize winners themselves, who are briefed on their winnings just minutes before they are announced to the public.
That tight-lipped mantra may yield some savory surprises, as it did for Benjamin List—co-winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry—who was having coffee with his wife when he got the news.
“Sweden shows up on my phone, and I look at him, he looks at me and I run across the street from the coffee shop… you know, he was amazing. It was so special. I never I will forget,” he told reporters on Wednesday after announcing his victory.
It can also be a little too celebratory. David McMillan, who shared the award with List, told BBC Radio 4 on Thursday: “I was lying in bed, and my wife woke up and heard my phone ringing. And she yelled at me because my phone woke her up. Had been.”
“100% [I] missed the call. Classic Scottish man. I [didn’t] Believing this is happening, so I went back to bed,” he said – possibly the most concerning sentence spoken by an expert in chiral imidazolidinone catalysis.
And for some, the sudden ascent of a Nobel laureate is entirely an unwanted intrusion. “Oh Christ,” said British-Zimbabwean writer Doris Lessing when journalists arrived outside her home to inform her that she had won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007. “I’m sure you’d love some uplifting comments of some sort.”
“It’s a wonderful thing,” Reinhard Genzel, an astrophysicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics last year, told Granthshala of his victory and the months that followed. “But it’s also a job.”
what it’s like to win a nobel prize
Few Nobel laureates can honestly say that their lives didn’t change when they got the call.
As long as they believe it, that is. “You get these cold calls these days, and I thought this was another one of them,” Abdulrazak Gurna, winner of this year’s Literature Prize, told the BBC on Thursday.
“This guy said, ‘Hello, you won the Nobel Prize for Literature,’ and I said, ‘Come on, get out of here. Leave me alone,'” Gurna said. “He talked to me, and slowly convinced me.”
Winners often cannot be contacted, leaving them to find out about their winnings from the news, their families, or even their neighbors.
Economist Paul Milgrom was woken up in California at midnight by his colleague Robert Wilson at his front door. “Paul, this is Bob Wilson. You won the Nobel Prize,” he shouted into the intercom. “Yeah, I have? Wow,” replied a completely confused Milgrom, in an exchange captured by a doorbell camera.
Genzel’s call came when he was in a Zoom meeting with colleagues last October. “I had absolutely no idea,” he said. “I thought, my gosh… it’s obviously a fantasy.”
The committee secretary told him he “couldn’t say anything for 15 or 20 minutes,” so Genzel tried his best to keep the news to herself. “I walked into my living room…[my colleagues]told me later that I was stumbling there, looked a bit, telling them to turn on the TV,” he said.
But there are also occasions where the winner is not as thrilled as the Nobel committee might think.
Lessing—with a male acquaintance who stood beside her, delighted, her hand in a sling and an artichoke in her hand—is clearly more interested in collecting her purchases than talking to the world’s media. Was.
When asked how he felt, he expressed a bit of excitement: “Look, I’ve won all the awards in Europe, every bloody one.”
“Should I be excited, or excited, or what?” he commented. “Can’t be more excited than one, you know?”
‘I was treated like a rock star’
As soon as Genzel’s victory was announced last year, her face was covered on television around the world. The announcement of a Nobel laureate has made the front pages of newspapers and websites almost everywhere, with sudden headlines on little-known scientists and their intricate research.
“Once the announcement is made, you lose your identity within half an hour,” Genzel said. “The telephone rings all the time.”
Peebles had a similar experience minutes after their morning phone call. “When I returned to bed my wife said, ‘What was that?’ I said ‘Nobel Prize’, and he said: Oh my god.” Within minutes, there was a photographer outside the couple’s door.
Genzel suddenly finds herself on German TV late at night answering questions about politics, angering some of her friends with her reactions. Meanwhile, Peebles spent most of the day looking at emails from every corner of the world: “Please come to us, please read my manuscript…”
“It is one thing to say that Nobel prizes attract attention. It is another thing to experience it,” he said.
Sometimes, personal relationships change. “There’s certainly a lot of jealousy from some colleagues — a lot of people who are close to me in the same field might very well say, ‘Why did he get this?'” Genzel said.
But before the Covid-19 pandemic took the plan for two years in a row, the winners were also treated to a gala in Stockholm.
Peebles said of their banter in 2019, “I was treated like a rock star … I experienced what I expect to experience from a rock star.” “It’s an amazing honor.”
“My attaché had a nearly endless list of things to do,” he said. “‘Now you have to meet these influential people. Now you have to go to a news conference. Now we have dinner with some important people. And so forth.'”
Genzel missed the festivities last year, but she enjoyed a low-key affair in Germany. “The governor of Bavaria offered us his accommodation, (and) we had a pretty good program with the Swedish ambassador,” he said.
Two years later, Granthshala asked Peebles if his email inbox had finally shifted to pre-Nobel versions. “I’ll have to see the data on that,” he replied, ever empiricist.
But for the men and many other laureates, the most exciting part of the Nobel experience is that it inspires people to talk about science and culture.
“I think it’s almost necessary to tell the public that there is truth, there is absolute truth,” Genzel said.
“I hope that the importance of the Nobel Prize in making people aware of the importance of science or art driven by curiosity will be understood,” he said. “I think it must be unique.”
Credit : www.cnn.com