Inspiration and Originality: superconductors, molecules and gene theory

For the Peace Prize winner, President Oscar Arias Sanchez of Costa Rica, it was a week of stirred political passions and fresh opportunity. Meanwhile, the scientists named by the Nobel Committee to receive the 1987 prizes in physics, chemistry and medicine basked in the traditional praise of colleagues around the globe.

The Nobel Prizes were initially established to honor work done during the previous twelve months. That has rarely happened in the 86 years that the Nobel Committee has made the awards, which currently include a stipend of $340,000. Indeed, recognition of even the most significant scientific discoveries can take decades....

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