During the first week of Oct. 2016, the Nobel Foundation announced the laureates for Nobel Prizes in various categories. Seven Americans were awarded these prestigious prizes. However, six of the laureates were born outside of the United States.
Every year the Nobel Foundation recognizes the most outstanding personalities from each field of science or art. The laureates are those people who have the most thorough knowledge in the area of their profession, and they accomplished some outstanding results through their research or innovation, or they were recognized as the most prominent leaders who have a mission that brings benefits to the whole society.
This year the Americans won the prizes in three different categories, and six of the winners have at least two things in common. Apparently, none of these laureates were born in the United States, and all of them are immigrants from the United Kingdom. The situation is not much different from what happened last year when only one out of four American laureates was born in the United States.
In 2016, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Sir. J. Fraser Stoddart, who along with other two Europeans designed and synthesized molecular machines. The research revealed information that could be helpful in transforming the way in which people fight illness, and it could allow engineers to build more powerful computers, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Michael Kosterlitz of Brown University, David Thouless of Yale University, and Duncan M. Haldane of Princeton University. Each of them is a theoretical researcher. The scientists were awarded the prize for their profound insights into the odd behavior of matter in unusual phases. Even though the laureates used math to present their evidence and their research was theoretical, the results of their work might also have a practical use in electronics and computing.
The remaining two Nobel Prizes won by Americans were awarded to Oliver Hart of Harvard University and Bengt Holmström of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Both of them are economists, and they became laureates in the field for their extensive work towards making contracting more fair and effective. The main goal of their work was to design contracts that discourage corruption and abuse, according to the New York Times.
The only laureate who was born in the United States is Bob Dylan. The Swedish Academy awarded the artist with a Nobel Prize in literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” according to the rollongstone.com. On their official twitter account, the Nobel Foundation also indicated that Dylan is the first laureate since George Bernhard Shaw to have been awarded both the Nobel Prize and an Oscar.
The chemist, Stoddart, was born in Scotland, and he was naturalized as an American in 2011. “I think the resounding message that should go out all around the world is that science is global. [The American scientific establishment will only remain strong] as long as we don’t enter an era where we turn our back on immigration,” said Stoddart, according to thehill.com. He also added that The United States should be “welcoming people from all over the world, including the Middle East.”
The opinion does not correlate with the plans of Donald Trump, who is the Republican nominee for the United States presidential election. His immigration policy would include more rigorous rules for immigrants who are planning to settle in the country. The policy could potentially make it more difficult for them to seek employment in America.
“Donald J. Trump’s Vision,” which includes “Donald J. Trump’s 10 Point Plan to Put America First” and is published on his website, http://www.donaldjtrump.com, contains information which clearly states that if he becomes president, Americans will be favored on the job market when opposed to immigrants.
Trump states that newcomers will be selected “based on their likelihood of success in the U.S. and their ability to be financially self-sufficient.” Also, he is going to temporarily suspend “immigration from regions that export terrorism and where safe vetting cannot presently be ensured.”
The legal immigration will also be reformed to “serve the best interests of America and its workers, keeping immigration levels within historic norms.” Even though Trump targets Mexicans and Muslims in particular, his words might have an impact on immigrants’ populations from different countries as well, according to the huffingtonpost.com.
Suspending immigration from territories that export terrorism might be a good solution in regards to maintaining the safety of the United States. Nevertheless, the suspension could also result in decreasing America’s attractiveness to talented scientists whose work could benefit the country in various ways.
Immigration from regions in which groups, such as ISIL, terrorize the society and are a considerable threat for all people around the world, can potentially bring members of these groups into the United States. However, suspending all inhabitants of such areas from entering America in to keep its borders safe will have an impact on the number of immigrants who could contribute to the country’s success. People, such as scientist or engineers, will not have a chance to come to the United States.
Also, if the immigration process becomes more difficult, resulting in a difficulty for immigrants to play a role in the American job market, some people might decide not to pursue their careers in this country as they could get better opportunities outside of the US.
Duncan Haldane, the winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, indicates that immigration process is already a “bureaucratic nightmare for many people,” according to immigrationimpact.com. Therefore, making the process even more challenging could certainly be an obstacle for future immigrants.
Even though some people might consider immigration a problem, the research and statistics illustrate that the United States draws many benefits from being such a multicultural country. America is a nation of immigrants, and the country’s success would not be possible without them, according to the whitehouse.gov.
In an official statement, the White House presents ten points explaining how immigrants contribute to the United States’ economy.
“According to the Census Bureau, despite making up only 16 percent of the resident population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher, immigrants represent 33 percent of engineers, 27 percent of mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientist, and 24 percent of physical scientists,” according to the whitehouse.gov.
Based on the statistics, the fact that six American Nobel Prize laureates are immigrants might not be surprising. If people coming from outside of the United States are so likely to become scientists and engineers, it is also more probable that they become the prize laureates.
The current president, Barrack Obama, is aware that immigration is an important part of the United States’ history, and his words said during a naturalization ceremony held at the White House in 2012 might refer to the people who were naturalized on that day as well as all the six 2016 Nobel Prize winners.
“The lesson of these 236 years is clear – immigration makes America stronger. Immigration makes us more prosperous. And immigration positions America to lead in the 21st century. And these young men and women are testaments to that. No other nation in the world welcomes so many new arrivals. No other nation constantly renews itself, refreshes itself with the hopes, and the drive, and the optimism, and the dynamism of each new generation of immigrants. You are all one of the reasons that America is exceptional,” said Obama according to whitehouse.gov.