Geniuses, Heroes and Saints: The Nobel Prize and the Public Image of Science

coverMassimiano Bucchi

Geniuses, Heroes and Saints: The Nobel Prize and the Public Image of Science.

The Nobel Prize as a key to understanding the public image of science and its trasformations.

Through the history, stories and controversies of the Nobel prizes in the sciences and their interweaving with society, politics, and culture, Massimiano Bucchi investigates the public image of science and its transformations from the early XXth century to the present.

An original, accessible and engaging pathway to understanding the social role of science through the stories and figures who have left their mark on the world’s most famous prize: from the surprising and tormented story of the Nobel prize awarded to Einstein, to the countryside doctor who went in a few years from obscure practice to Nobel fame; from the “ghosts” of Nobel prizes which were surprisingly not awarded, to the prizes assigned to results which have been later disproved; from the Nobel laureates who have become celebrities to those which have been almost completely forgotten.

A fascinating journey through the different political meanings and social roles attributed to the prize: from the surrogate of competition among nations (‘science as a continuation of politics through other means’) to the Nobel ceremony as ‘ritual of consecration’ akin to the making of saints in a secular society.

The book is the outcome of several years of original research on the public image of the Nobel prize, conducted on the Nobel archives at the Royal Academy of Science in Stockholm as well as on a wide range of popular media sources.

Like a Netflix documentary, just better” (Linkiesta)

“A brilliant book” (Il Tascabile- Treccani)

How Nobel invented the Nobel”, (Repubblica)

Well documented, engaging, ironic, scientifically meticulous… an occasion to reflect on our relationship with science and the role of scientists in society. This book will keep you awake” (Corriere della Sera)

Bucchi successfully connects intriguing anecdotes, sociological analysis and historical reconstruction” (Scientific American – italian version)

The book is available in major digital stores.

24 October 2017 | in: News,