Editor's note

This week the Nobel Prizes in Physiology and Medicine went to discoveries about biological clocks. The Chemistry award went to a technology that freezes and images biomolecules, while novelist Kazuo Ishiguro won for literature.

But we also explore some potential flaws in the pageantry and the process. Does the Nobel Peace Prize even matter? And does it make sense that just three people won an award for research completed by thousands?

Turning from real life scientific breakthroughs to science fiction, “Blade Runner 2049” opens in theaters this weekend. North Carolina State University film studies professor Marsha Gordon looks back at the original dystopian classic – a movie she calls a “chillingly prescient” vision of our current technological moment.

Nick Lehr

Editor, Arts and Culture

The Nobel Prizes

The 'inevitable sadness' of Kazuo Ishiguro's fiction

Cynthia F. Wong, University of Colorado Denver

After learning of Ishiguro's Nobel win, a literature professor recalls her 2006 interview with the writer in a London cafe.

Why the Nobel Peace Prize brings little peace

Ronald R. Krebs, University of Minnesota

A scholar analyzes the history of the Nobel Peace Prize to ask: What difference has it made?

Chilled proteins and 3-D images: The cryo-electron microscopy technology that just won a Nobel Prize

Melanie Ohi, University of Michigan; Michael Cianfrocco, University of Michigan

The 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry goes to three scientists who revolutionized biochemistry by inventing a technology that can image the molecules of life without destroying them.

Nobel winners identified molecular ‘cogs’ in the biological clocks that control our circadian rhythms

Carrie L. Partch, University of California, Santa Cruz

Americans Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young share the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for work that explained how our cells keep track of time.

Arts + Culture

Economy + Business

  • Do tax cuts stimulate the economy more than spending?

    Dale O. Cloninger, University of Houston-Clear Lake

    President Trump recently released his tax plan, but he's also said he wants to stimulate the economy with infrastructure spending. Is one more effective than the other at boosting growth?


  • The enduring power of print for learning in a digital world

    Patricia A. Alexander, University of Maryland; Lauren M. Singer, University of Maryland

    Digital textbooks might be less cumbersome. But a new series of studies finds that reading from screens can hamper our ability to process and retain information.

Environment + Energy

Ethics + Religion

Health + Medicine

Politics + Society

Science + Technology