Nobel Prize

Today, it was announced that the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2013 is awarded to Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel. It is awarded for: "Development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems".  In recent years I have been discussing the possibility of a Nobel Prize in the field of "(Bio)-Molecular Dynamics" with several colleagues, and the names of Karplus and Levitt and to a lesser extent Warshel, were very often mentioned. However, a prize like this, awarded in a relative broad research field, mostly leads to discussions of whether the right people received the prize and who should have been part of the prize winners but are not. There are dozens of people who deserve the prize in (Biomolecular) MD, and also within the range of the specific title for this Nobel prize there are probably more people who deserve it.

I think that is also an important aspect of this (or any) Nobel prize: it is awarded to specific people but it is deserved by and gives a certain recognition to the field. So if you are working on multiscale models of complex chemical systems today (Martini-model, anyone?), you have been awarded a tiny little bit of the Nobel prize today:-)

If you are interested in how the work of the laureates is placed in the history of Molecular Dynamics and what are the landmark simulations it lead to, you can find a short overview of the history of BioMolecular Dynamics in the introduction chapter of my thesis: http://dissertations.ub.rug.nl/faculties/science/2013/d.h.de.jong/