25 червня 2019 року

Nowadays, the most important scientific studies are conducted by universities or independent research institutes. The outstanding achievements in science win the most prestigious science award – The Nobel Prize in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and for Peace. The Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel was established by Sweden’s central bank in 1968. 908 Laureats and 27 organizations have been awarded the Nobel Prize between 1901 and 2018, and none of them were a representative of Ukrainian science. However, the land of Ukraine gave the world a constellation of Nobel Prize winners who revealed their great potential in the other countries.


An outstanding microbiologist, cytologist, embryologist, immunologist, physiologist, and pathologist Ilya Ilich Mechnikov, or Élie Metchnikoff (1845 – 1916) was born in the village of Ivanovka, not far from Kharkov. In 1908, he was awarded, together with Paul Ehrlich, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “in recognition of their work on immunity”.




A prominent scientist – microbiologist and biochemist Selman Abraham Waksman (1888 – 1972) – was born and raised in the rural town of Novaya Priluka (present-day Ukraine). In 1952, Selman Abraham Waksman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for his discovery of streptomycin, the first antibiotic effective against tuberculosis”.


A bright American chemist, poet, playwright Roald Hoffmann (born 1937) was born in Złoczów, Poland (now Zolochiv, Lviv region, present-day Ukraine). In 1981, Roald Hoffmann received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, which he shared with Kenichi Fukui – a Japanese chemist – “for their theories, developed independently, concerning the course of chemical reactions”. Independently of one another, Roald Hoffmann and Kenichi Fukui demonstrated how the symmetrical properties of electron orbitals explain the course of chemical reactions.



One of the most prominent scientists of our time – Georges Charpak (1924 – 2010) – is our fellow countryman too. He was born in Dąbrowica in Poland (now Dubrovytsia, Rivne region, present-day Ukraine). In 1992, he won the Nobel Prize in Physics “for his invention and development of particle detectors, in particular the multiwire proportional chamber”.





The outstanding Jewish writer Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888 - 1970), who was born in Buchach (now Ternopil region), became the Nobel Prize winner in Literature in 1966.





Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich (born 1948) born in Stanislav (now Ivano-Frankivsk) received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2015.

Our country has not yet gained recognition from a Nobel Committee, however many Nobel Prize winners began their scientific journey or worked for a while in the territory, which belongs to present-day Ukraine: Simon Smith Kuznets (in Economic Sciences, 1971), Igor Tamm (in Physics, 1958), Lev Landau (in Physics, 1962). The roots of some Nobel Prize winners, who were born in the other countries, are traced back to the Ukrainian lands, which have always been ethnically and culturally diverse: César Milstein (in Physiology or Medicine, 1984), Eric Kandel (in Physiology or Medicine, 2000), Ralph M. Steinman (in Physiology or Medicine, 2011), Herbert Charles Brown (in Chemistry, 1979), Dan Shechtman (in Chemistry, 2011), Murray Gell-Mann (in Physics, 1969), David Jonathan Gross (in Physics, 2004), Serge Haroche (in Physics, 2012), Boris Pasternak (in Literature, 1958). A bright constellation of thinkers received the highest international distinction as the citizens of the other countries.

Unfortunately, the lack of proper conditions for scientific research, poor science funding, beggarly salaries and pensions, the lack of interest in the new investigations and projects among Ukrainian authorities and Ukrainian society make Ukrainian scientists uncompetitive on the world “scientific market”, inhibit the rise of modern science in Ukraine, cause brain drain to the highly developed countries with better living and working conditions. Today, the development of Ukrainian science, which is inextricably linked to the economic, political, social, and cultural spheres of society, should become a priority for both our state and society. It is not a private matter, but one of the most urgent problems, which can only be addressed at the state level. And then the future Ukrainian Nobel Prize winners will contribute to the world scientific and art treasury and multiply the spiritual and cultural heritage of humankind.

Tetiana Danylova,
Department of Philosophy



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