This week is the March Madness of science, as the Nobel Foundation announces, one at a time, the 2012 prize winners in a small set of specialties: medicine, physics and chemistry, not to mention literature and peace. Today it all began with the medicine prize, awarded to two worthy people for their work in stem-cell biology.
Alfred Nobel should have been even wealthier and far-sighted than he was. His will, which established the Nobel Prizes in 1901, should have included geoscience, right? After all, geoscience is easily the science that has "conferred the greatest benefit to mankind."
But other benefactors have stepped up in the intervening century to rectify Nobel's oversight. Unfortunately you won't hear from them this week, but get to know them in my article, "What Is Geology's Nobel Prize?"