Reading Paul’s letter, I was rather amused that he sees a correlation between population and Nobel Prize winners. By this (very simplistic, isn’t it?) criterion, China should have the highest number of Nobel laureates. In fact, it has only nine for its almost 1.5-billion population. The second country that springs to mind is India, whose sea of humanity comprises 1.4 billion people – yet only 10 have won Nobel prizes. So perhaps tiny Israel (8.7 million) with 12 Nobel winners might not be doing all that badly. In fact Israel is ranked 12th for Nobels won per capita. And that despite only being created 47 years after the first Nobel prize was awarded in 1901. Even more intriguing is the proportion of Jewish Nobel laureates. Of approximately 900 Nobel winners, roughly 180 have been Jewish. So Jews have won 20 per cent of all Nobel prizes awarded despite making up a tiny (0.2 per cent) of the world’s population.
Dr Andras Kanos