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18 Oct 2021

Setting it Straight: The second Nobel year in the time of COVID-19: Medicine

The average time between making a discovery and being recognised by a Nobel Prize is now about 30 years so, while some may have expected that the mRNA vaccine breakthrough might figure for 2021, that absence was hardly a surprise. Alfred Nobel’s will made way back before his death in 1896 stipulated that the science prizes should be awarded for work done within the past year. But it takes time for discoveries to be evaluated and confirmed, or for any substantial problems to emerge. The various science Nobel Committees are very conservative, and they don’t want to make a mistake.