It’s that time of year again. The time when school kids flock to their institutions? Not what I was thinking of. The time when the leaves change color and begin to fall? And how do you mark that on your calendar? Apple-picking time? Yes, but no. Instead I am thinking of the time of year when a ‘select group’ of Europeans get together to decide who’s the best and brightest in a number of fields. Yes, that’s right, it’s Nobel Prize time.
The first prize, the one for medicine, has already been awarded. This year’s want to a German for work on HPV and two French people for work on HIV. Other prizes will be awarded throughout the coming week, ending with Economics on Monday, October 13.
I’m not sure why many people would care about the Nobel Prizes, but I do. I guess because it’s fun to win something? Or maybe it has to do with all the great people I know doing great things that deserve prizes? Or maybe it’s about prizes that are well-known to just about everybody. I’m not really sure – it’s almost like the Olympics. I don’t really watch them, there’s always lots of controversy around decisions that are made, and yet, there’s still a certain appeal. Perhaps it’s a prize that seems a little timeless, coming as it does from the era of that earlier ‘turn of the century’. Perhaps it’s something that is attractive precisely because it is resistant to change, despite accusations of stodginess. Something about it still makes me ready to anticipate.