Odds on Nobel Laureates? You Bet.

By Veronique Greenwood
Oct 4, 2011 12:05 AMNov 20, 2019 2:20 AM


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It's the first week of October and everyone's abuzz with the announcements of the Nobels, especially after today's announcement of the Prize in Medicine, when Ralph Steinman became the first posthumous Laureate since 1961. As the Nobel Committee is notoriously close-lipped, some folks come up with their own shortlists; Thomson-Reuters releases a list every year, though many in the science writing community have pointed out its low success rate. But informal pools abound. Here are our favorite sites listing odds and taking bets on the Prizes for physics, chemistry, literature, and economics:

  • For the Prize in Economics, to be awarded Monday, October 10, the Harvard Department of Economics has set up a betting pool here. You pay a dollar for each name you submit, and if you choose one of the winners, you get a cut of the pot.

  • For the Prize in Chemistry, to be awarded Wednesday, October 5, check out Paul Bracher at ChemBark's thorough post with detailed odds, and Derek Lowe's picks at In the Pipeline.

  • For the Prize in Literature, to be awarded Thursday, October 6, the British betting site Ladbrokes has odds here.

  • For all of the prizes, awarded throughout this week, science blogger Chad Orzel has an annual betting pool. The prizes include writing a guest blog, choosing a post topic, or receiving a copy of his book.

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