Nobel Laureates life stories

Klarissa Lueg, Angela Graf

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


Since more the 100 years, the annually awarded Nobel Prizes are supposed to be conferred to those scientists whose work provides “the greatest benefit to mankind” (Nobel Prizes Organization). Hence, the Nobel Prize can be considered a symbol for the sustainable scientific contributions. However, over the last decades, societal trust in integrity and applicability of science as a means to social wellbeing and prosperity eroded (e.g. Krücken & Meier, 2006). On a larger societal scale (macro-level), politics and discourses of the “post-truth era” are testament to this development: the relevance of scientific facts is questioned and deemed as secondary to emotions. This development has devaluated scientific legitimacy. Hence, within the academic field (meso-level), organizations (universities, research institutes etc.) and individuals (micro-level) strive to publicly legitimize the value of their contributions. For example, universities are eager to promote the success of “their” Nobel Laureates as an organizational, rather than an individual, success story. Moreover, Nobel Laureates and their stories serve as personifications of scientific sustainability in general. To explore what narratives are employed to construct the meaning of science for society, we take a closer look at the Nobel Laureates autobiographies between 1980 and 2018, presented on the official website of the Nobel Prize. How do they construct doing science as a sustainable social contribution? Departing from Bucchi’s (2018) typology of scientists’ narratives (the genius, the national hero and the saint), we aim to identify ideal typical narratives of sustainable science and the scientific ‘illusio` (Bourdieu, 2004) as implied by the laureates’ storytelling. Initial findings point towards several ideal types of life-storytelling, varying from stories of great personal sacrifice to a puritan dedication to education, always for the higher purpose, that is, the benefit of mankind. The identified narratives can serve as an basis for a critical (self-)reflection of how science, its organization, administration, and legitimizations is being constructed.
StatusAfsendt - 2020
Begivenhed2nd Storytelling Seminar: "The Role of Narratives and Storytelling in Organizing for Sustainability: Perspectives in Dialogue" - University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Danmark
Varighed: 27. maj 202029. maj 2020


Konference2nd Storytelling Seminar: "The Role of Narratives and Storytelling in Organizing for Sustainability: Perspectives in Dialogue"
LokationUniversity of Southern Denmark

Fingeraftryk Dyk ned i forskningsemnerne om 'Nobel Laureates life stories'. Sammen danner de et unikt fingeraftryk.