Nobel Syndrome!

Nobel syndrome! Quite catchy isn’t it? We all know of the very sought after Nobel prizes, we also know of the highly avoided syndromes. So what is a paradox doing here as a Nobel Prize syndrome? Certainly not a word which everyone would want to be associated with!

So what is the Nobel syndrome and why it is a syndrome. The normal definition of a syndrome being a set of characteristics which define a disease. And the normal definition of a Nobel is something which everyone knows now ;). So coming to the topic, it is a common syndrome, not specific to the Nobel prizes alone, it is something which everyone can relate to and which everyone suffers from. The concept is quite simple, once someone wins a Nobel, it is a great recognition of the amazing feat they have achieved and deservedly so a prize for the same. At the same time it acts as an impediment on the other way cos the whole idea of a research changes when one gets an acknowledgement at the highest level.


Ever attended a seminar in which you ask a question and the guest appreciates your question. So what happens next? Do we think twice before asking the next question? And why do we do that? The answer would be quite plain and simple, we set our standards for the higher level question and the next question we put in simply has a new standard and we dare not ask a stupid question risking not being appreciated in front of the whole crowd. I can certainly find some experiences where I have waited for the seminar to end so that I can ask the question personally instead of risking a public questionnaire.

So how does this link to the Nobel syndrome? Quite simple, it does the same thing as the standard setting. Once the accolade is won, the next research they try at, the first question they tend to think is whether this research would be worthy of a nobel?! And most times the answer would be NO! However going back on the memory lane, it would be such simple and stupid starts which would have led to such brilliant accolades. Somehow in the entire process we tend to miss the purpose of things and the purpose could be as simple as just to have fun.

Well this terminology came up when we were discussing with my friend- the same one who brought up the pendulum theory. I did search for this on the net but didn’t come up with tangible results. I am still going with it anyway. It somehow seems to make sense.


If I have come up with a wrong term please do feel free to correct me.

14 Responses to "Nobel Syndrome!"

  1. I never thought of it that way, but I can easily see how you’d be afraid of public humiliation after public success. The public is fickle, and you have to be well-centered to be able to ignore them and follow your heart.

    1. I agree Victoria,, the public is stupid most times. Like you said a well centred and a well rounded personality is something we would all want to look at to get over the silly subtleties..

  2. I think this Nobel Syndrome, as you call it, happens due to our fear of rejection or failure. It almost feels like your past accomplishments and prizes will be taken away from you if you make a wrong move or say the wrong thing.

    1. Absolutely spot on vecinana.. Fear does play a huge role whether in the small or the big ways, probably tats why a child is so great and the innocence is much greater indeed 🙂

  3. Yes it makes a lot of sense.We don’t want to fall from our high pedestal.We forget that the Everest climb began with a single step only.
    You have made an observation which is not usually thought of.

    1. Thanks Indu 🙂 .

      It is a little difficult the length of the fall and no one wants to fall.. Made sense to me when I thought and somehow its always seems to be a battle of thoughts along..

  4. The only reason to ask a question at a lecture, is for the sake of a better understanding of the subject of the lecture. In order to add to the clarity of the exposition, it is important to follow and understand the material discussed at the lecture.

    1. True Shimon. I would second that thought. I was thinking how most of the internal wiring is done. As for the questions are concerned, I am very appreciative of the constructive questioning. I believe that is the only and the best way to grow


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