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The Nobel disease is a term used to describe a phenomenon in which Nobel Prize-winning scientists endorse or perform "research" in pseudoscientific areas in their later years. In reality, this "disease" most likely demonstrates that even the most brilliant people are not immune to crank ideas and belief in such ideas will persist to some degree even among Nobelists. It also makes for a convenient argument from authority for lesser cranks, because if a Nobel Prize-winning scientist says it, it must be true!
 (In)famous Victims of Disease
- Pierre Curie (Physics, 1903) — His support[wp] for psychic medium Eusapia Palladino.
- Marie Curie (Physics, 1903 and Chemistry, 1911) — Her support for Eusapia Palladino (though less so than Pierre, see above).
- John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh (Physics, 1904) — Paranormal, ghosts
- Philipp Lenard[wp] (Physics, 1905) — Deutsche Physik
- Joseph Thomson (Physics, 1906) — Psychic, dowsing and paranormal
- Alexis Carrel (Physiology or Medicine, 1912) — radiesthesia, eugenics and Nazi racial theories.
- Charles Richet (Physiology or Medicine, 1913) — ESP, paranormal, dowsing, ghosts
- Albert Einstein (Physics, 1921) — Endorsed a psychic in 1932.
- Erwin Schrödinger (Physics, 1933) — Quantum mysticism and global consciousness
- Otto Stern (Physics, 1943) — Psychokinesis and Pauli effect
- Ernst Boris Chain (Physiology or Medicine, 1945) — Evolution denial
- Wolfgang Pauli (Physics, 1945) — Pauli effect, psychokinesis and paranormal
- Hideki Yukawa (Physics, 1949) — Intuition and mysticism superior to logic and reason, anti-science and Taoist relativism
- Linus Pauling (Chemistry, 1954, and Peace, 1962) — Vitamin C quackery/orthomolecular medicine
- William Shockley (Physics, 1956) — Racialism and eugenics
- James Watson (Physiology or Medicine, 1962) — Promoter of racialism
- Eugene Wigner (Physics, 1963) — Quantum mysticism
- John Eccles (Physiology or Medicine, 1963) — Quantum consciousness
- Julian Schwinger (Physics, 1965) — Pushed cold fusion as late as 1991.
- Alfred Kastler (Physics, 1966) — Paranormal
- Hannes Alfvén (Physics, 1970) — Plasma cosmology
- Ivar Giaever (Physics, 1973) — Global warming denial
- Brian Josephson (Physics, 1973) — Psychic and paranormal phenomena. Cold fusion. Water memory and homeopathy.
- Nikolaas Tinbergen (Physiology or Medicine, 1973) — Crank theories of autism
- Kary Mullis (Chemistry, 1993) — Generally barking mad. AIDS denial, alien abduction, Aliensdidit, astrology, astral projection, conspiracy theories, cosmic raccoons, global warming denial, ozone denial. Possibly related to his heavy use of LSD.
- Walter Gilbert (Chemistry, 1980) — AIDS denial. Although there are claims he is no longer skeptical of the claim HIV causes AIDS. The source for that seems to be a message board post that no longer exists.
- Richard Smalley (Chemistry, 1996) — Creationism, Intelligent Design and evolution denial
- Louis J. Ignarro (Physiology or Medicine, 1998) — Herbalife
- Gerard 't Hooft (Physics, 1999) — Superdeterminism
- Luc Montagnier (Physiology or Medicine, 2008) — Homeopathy, water memory, autism quackery, AIDS cured by nutrition and vaccine hysteria
 Inverted Nobel Disease
In a more bizarre case, Tu Youyou[wp] received the 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of artemisinin, a drug used to treat malaria and saving millions of lives. She discovered this while testing thousands of different herbs that were in her field of study: Traditional Chinese Medicine. It should be noted that if the Scientific Method had not been developed yet, many parts of TCM would be proto-science rather than pseudo-science. Shamans, medicine men, witch doctors, and the like would often observe that there was a correlation between herb or practice X with ailment Y, and would pass down the knowledge. It wasn't always true of course, and a lot of superstitions were formed in this manner, but without things like rapid communication or well funded laboratories, any better form of acquiring knowledge was simply unavailable. Then when society did reach a point where a city could afford the resources for the labs, many early scientists began testing all the various herbal remedies that had been passed down from the shamans. What worked was carefully recorded and kept, such as aspirin from willow bark tea, while what didn't was thrown away. Tu Youyou tested various herbal remedies and found another important drug.
 See also
- ↑ Pierre Curie bio
- ↑ John William Strutt bio
- ↑ http://books.google.fr/books?id=VcBs8enYCCcC&pg=PA502&lpg=PA502&dq=Joseph+Thomson+psychical+research&source=bl&ots=XMAUTZWjVl&sig=-4aKFonKr5bihsBlpwCZ9t2xYDQ&hl=fr&sa=X&ei=bzbHU83pJqef0QXmo4B4&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Joseph%20Thomson%20psychical%20research&f=false
- ↑ Lenard, Philipp (1936). Deutsche Physik in vier Bänden (in German). J.F. Lehmann.
- ↑ http://www.questia.com/library/7939014/recollections-and-reflections
- ↑ Charles Richet bio
- ↑ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119292/controversy-einsteins-endorsement-psychic-upton-sinclair-defends
- ↑ http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/09/08/the-reputation-of-another-famous-scientist-is-dashed-to-the-ground/
- ↑ My View of the World Erwin Schrödinger chapter iv. What Is life? the physical aspect of the living cell & Mind and matter — By Erwin Schrödinger
- ↑ http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/325387-consciousness-cannot-be-accounted-for-in-physical-terms-for-consciousness
- ↑ http://books.google.fr/books?id=JMczYbPasfsC&pg=PA122&lpg=PA122&dq=Otto+Stern+paranormal&source=bl&ots=2F9Da5FYHI&sig=T-IKOyJtMfDeqOsRCyYdWZaO01Y&hl=fr&sa=X&ei=djXHU5iBBOq30QWn34HQCg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Otto%20Stern%20paranormal&f=false
- ↑ Chain, 1971, “Social Responsibility and the Scientist in Modern Western Society,” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Spring 1971, Vol. 14, No. 3, p. 368
- ↑ http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Pauli
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauli_effect
- ↑ Creativity and intuition : a physicist looks at East and West / by Hideki Yukawa ; translated by John Bester (1973)
- ↑ Bill Shockley bio
- ↑ Fury at DNA Pioneer's Theory: Africans are Less Intelligent than Westerners, The Independent
- ↑ , where Watson clarifies he speaks as "people who have to deal with black employees".
- ↑ Eccles, John (1973). "6 'Brain, Speech, and Consciousness'". The Understanding of the Brain. McGraw-Hill Book Company. p. p. 189. ISBN 0-07-018863-7.
- ↑ http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/SchwingerJcoldfusiona.pdf
- ↑ http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/rhs_0151-4105_1977_num_30_1_1466
- ↑ Hannes Alfvén, Cosmology—Myth or Science? J Astrophysics and Astronomy, vol. 5, pp. 79-98, (1984).
- ↑ Ivar Giaevar, DeSmog Blog
- ↑ Pioneer of the Paranormal
- ↑ 
- ↑ http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2010/10/john-benneth-brian-josephson-and-an-absurd-talk-at-cambridge.html
- ↑ http://www.tcm.phy.cam.ac.uk/~bdj10/
- ↑ Outside the Box or Around the Bend? Photon in the Darkness
- ↑ Beyond Kary Mullis: The Alien Conspiracy Theory of AIDS, Denying AIDS
- ↑ Kary Mullis — Personal Views[wp], Wikipedia
- ↑ https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Walter_Gilbert
- ↑ http://www.montanasnews.tv/articles.php?mode=view&id=3262
- ↑ http://www.christianpost.com/news/creation-scientists-in-three-way-debate-with-intelligent-design-evolution-7807/
- ↑ http://motls.blogspot.fr/2013/10/superdeterminism-ultimate-conspiracy.html
- ↑ http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=5022
- ↑ A. Zeilinger, Dance of the Photons, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2010, p. 266.
- ↑ http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/06/27/luc-montagnier-hits-a-new-low-age-of-autism-rallies-to-defend-him/
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP_q2VI9c1w
- ↑ http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/01/14/the-nobel-disease-meets-dna-teleportatio/