Freezing yet Cheerful
I'm in Stockholm!
A scientist friend told me once that a Nobel Prize in Sciences was a dated concept. He said most breakthroughs require an ensemble, a team, and the idea of one guy toiling passionately for years in his lab until one day he says, "Eureka!" is overly dramatic. He felt it was not the likely way big discoveries will happen in the 21st century.
That may be, but I found, like most tourists, that visiting the Nobel Museum was #1 on my list of things to do in Stockholm. To me, the Nobel Prize represents goodness over evil, enlightenment over superstition, knowledge over anti-intellectualism, and excellence over mediocrity.
I respond to the innovation and thought leadership I see from the Scandinavian countries. Having figured out what works for their countries and developed themselves to the highest degree, as societies they seem free to operate as aristocrats who no longer have to worry about earning a living and can move on to higher, more noble concerns such as how to advance the human race. The Nobel Prize is just the most prominent example.
A beautiful reclining Buddha
displayed as part of an art exhibit
at the Nobel Museum
celebrating the philosophy
of the Dalia Lama
Beautiful and inspiring sentiments
on a garden bench
also part of the art exhibit
Sculpture formed out of
discarded Manhattan phone books
I loved not only seeing the art exhibit but the short movies about each Nobel Prize winner and the other movie about creative environments that breed innovation and excellence without apology. There wasn't an exhibit on how to raise a Nobel Prize winner. I suppose by the time people win, their parents aren't alive to celebrate with them and to be asked how they did it. That's probably not so important. I don't know about you, but I've always observed there is no shortage of worthy scientists, instead there's a shortage of funding for all their great work.
The Nobel Museum is in a stately old building set amidst Old Town Stockholm. I had to tease the front desk clerk that the big clock in the middle of the exhibit space was dead and not working in a building devoted to celebrating excellence. "I know, she grinned, we've tried for three years to get it to run properly. No luck." The irony made me smile. Maybe they should offer a prize.