Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman has just been awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. At a press conference in Israel Schechtman said “I think this is a great day for me, of course, but its also a great day for the country”. He’s absolutely right on both counts.
It is a great day for him because being awarded a Nobel Prize in a scientific discipline is a monumental achievement and an affirmation and celebration of a persons life’s work in the field. Its also non-political and makes no ideological statement, unlike President Obama’s undeserved Nobel Peace Prize for example. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded for achieving something concrete and tangible which will advance scientific knowledge and benefit humaniity and political and ideological considerations don’t enter into the decision to grant it. Its given for real accomplishments, not wishful thinking.
Its a great day for Israel because it affirms the breadth and quality of the country’s scientific activities and community and shows the world, yet again, that Israeli scientists and innovators can and do make enormous contributions to all of our lives, despite living in a country that is constantly under attack and threatened with obliteration by its Arab/Islamic neighbors. Schechtman earned his Ph.D in Israel in 1972 and is the tenth Israeli scientist to win a Nobel Prize, the third in chemistry.
Kudos and congratulations have been pouring in from from all over the world, except of course the Arab/Islamic part of it. There has been no real mention of it at all in that part of the world and its as if the Prize was never awarded. The silence is deafening and very revealing.
It wouldn’t be because Shechtman is Israeli, or because he’s Jewish and much of the work was carried out in Israel would it?
You bet it is.
Not to worry though. His research used Arabic mosaic patterns as a model and any day now we can expect to hear someone in the Arab/Islamic world falsely take credit for it or some such thing.
Old story, old pattern and entirely predictable.