Nobel disease

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

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Nobel disease (uncountable)

  1. (humorous or derogatory) The tendency of some Nobel laureates to advance pseudoscientific or fringe ideas, or to claim knowledge beyond their field of expertise.
    • 2015, Jeff Wilser, The Good News About What's Bad For You..., page 53:
      According to many doctors, there was only one problem with [Linus] Pauling’s theories: they were all wrong. Pauling was afflicted with “Nobel disease,” a condition where a master in one field thinks he’s an authority in others, according to Dr. Steven Salzberg, professor of medicine and biostatistics at Johns Hopkins, and a frequent debunker of pseudoscience. “He wasn’t an expert in nutrition. He was just completely wrong about this. All the evidence says he’s wrong.”
    • 2018, Edzard Ernst & Kevin Smith, More Harm Than Good?: The Moral Maze of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, page 163:
      Thereafter, he [Luc Montaginer] appears to have contracted the 'Nobel disease', in which success apparently goes to the head of the erstwhile respected scientist, resulting in an embarrassing public embrace of crankery.
    • 2019, David Robson, The Intelligence Trap: Why Smart People Make Dumb Mistakes, unnumbered page:
      Earned dogmatism might also further explain the bizarre claims of the scientists with "Nobel Disease" such as Kary Mullis.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:Nobel disease.

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