Virtual Nobel Prize in Psychology*
Nominations and Laureate in 2003
When founding the prize that now bears his name, Alfred Nobel forgot to include (at least) three disciplines: mathematics, economics, and psychology. While mathematicians found a remedy in the "Fields Medal" from 1932 on, and the "Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel" is financed by the Bank of Sweden since 1968, there was no remedy in sight for psychology. The only hope for great psychologists was to achieve the award in another field, as Konrad Lorenz (Physiology, 1973), Herbert Simon (Economics, 1978) or, most recently, Daniel Kahneman (Economics, 2002, for his research on judgment and decision making) did. Considering this awkward state of affairs, the "Innovations in Cognitive Psychology" seminar set out to find a corrective and - for the first time in history - created a virtual "Nobel Prize in Psychology". Based on student nominations, international candidates are presented. At the end of the summer term, a student board decides about the award winner based on the official criteria. May the best scientist win!
Alfred Nobel's testament is amended as follows:
"[...] The said interest shall be divided into six equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of psychology; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction; and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations [...]. The prizes for physics and chemistry shall be awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences; that for physiology or medical works by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm; that for psychology by the 'Innovations in Cognitive Psychology' seminar at the University of Klagenfurt; that for literature by the Academy in Stockholm, and that for champions of peace by [...] the Norwegian Storting. It is my express wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether s/he be Scandinavian, Carinthian, or Slovenian or not."
Paris and Klagenfurt, November 27th, 1895, and March 3rd, 2003
* Disclaimer: This Prize has no relation whatsoever to the official Prizes of the Swedish Nobel Foundation (www.nobelprize.org).