Bad Timing in a Nobel Cause

By Larry Teren

The other day they announced three winners of the Nobel Prize in the area of physiology medicine, specifically on how immune systems work. It was bad timing for one of the winners. Ralph Steinman had died three days earlier of pancreatic cancer at the age of 68.  Nobel Prize rules stipulate that they do not award prizes to dead people. However, in this case they made an exception because, frankly, they made the announcement before they were made aware of his demise. They decided to not renege.

I guess Mr. Steinman was not well schooled in all aspects of Theory of Relativity as postulated by Albert Einstein . Otherwise, he would have grasped the concept of the world being in a continuum only if you do not let it pass you by. For that matter, there are scientists who are now trying to disprove Albert Einstein of  insistence that things cannot move beyond the speed of light. For some of us, it is like deja vu all over again- things happen so fast you wonder if you imagined it earlier but didn’t get a chance to latch on the first go around. Just like when you were on the merry-go-round as a kid and each time you rotated back to the spot your parents were spying on you, they waved as if it were the first time.

For Mr. Steinman, his timing may have been off but he also denied someone still breathing a chance to seize the moment as well as the cash and prestige that goes along with it. It’s the same with all posthumously given awards whether it be induction into the hall of fame or an Oscar© for best actor.

This brings us back to Albert Einstein and his theory of relativity. Who gets to enjoy the benefits of the dead guy’s cash reward- in this case 1.45 million dollars? His surviving relatives, naturally.

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