I believe the Nobel prize benefits some scientists, but is bad for science as a whole, because it is too political. (My belief is aligned with Taoism.) Am I mistaken: Does the Nobel prize benefit science?
closed as primarily opinion-based by Thomas, scaaahu, Buzz, Solar Mike, henning Dec 19 '18 at 6:58
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There's also the news aspect. Some people would say that it helps science/tists overall in the publicity. Or even for the general public gives them some education benefit/awareness of key advances.
You could also make the argument that science and society benefits from people attempting to get the Nobel. If that is a motivating factor for some scientists to work harder. (I.e. there is a big benefit to society from good work even from all the people who miss it, fairly or unfairly.) I doubt it. Figure paycheck is higher driver. But just listing the idea. I'm sure that when Nobel created the fund, he saw this as a rationale for doing it. (Like Millenium prizes.)
P.s. I wouldn't get too wound up about who they select or the politics of it. That's not Taoist either. Or...not Zen anyways. Or not Stoic. I don't really know philosophy, but don't let it bug ya. There's WAY closer to home unfairnesses to get aggravated about in academia and science. ;-)