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! Some of the more (in)famous victims of Nobel disease include:
- Alexis Carrel (Physiology or Medicine, 1912) - eugenics and Nazi racial theories
- Pierre Curie (Physics, 1903) - His support for psychic medium Eusapia Palladino.
- Ivar Giaever (Physics, 1973) - Global warming denial
- Louis J. Ignarro (Physiology or Medicine, 1998) - Herbalife
- Brian Josephson (Physics, 1973) - Psychic and paranormal phenomena.
- Philipp Lenard (Physics, 1905) - Deutsche Physik
- Luc Montagnier (Physiology or Medicine, 2008) - Homeopathy and vaccine hysteria
- Kary Mullis (Chemistry, 1993) - Generally barking mad. AIDS denial, alien abduction, astrology, conspiracy theories, cosmic raccoons, global warming denial, ozone denial. Possibly related to his heavy use of LSD.
- Linus Pauling (Chemistry, 1954, and Peace, 1962) - Vitamin C quackery/orthomolecular medicine
- Charles Richet (Physiology or Medicine, 1913) - ESP, paranormal, ghosts
- William Shockley (Physics, 1956) - Racialism and eugenics
- John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh (Physics, 1904) - Paranormal
- Nikolaas Tinbergen (Physiology or Medicine, 1973) - Crank theories of autism
- James Watson (Physiology or Medicine, 1962) - Racialism
- ↑ Pierre Curie bio
- ↑ Ivar Giaevar, DeSmog Blog
- ↑ Pioneer of the Paranormal
- ↑ Beyond Kary Mullis: The Alien Conspiracy Theory of AIDS, Denying AIDS
- ↑ Kary Mullis - Personal Views, Wikipedia
- ↑ Charles Richet bio
- ↑ Bill Shockley bio
- ↑ John William Strutt bio
- ↑ Outside the Box or Around the Bend? Photon in the Darkness
- ↑ 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".