“Dutch Nobel Prizes” only for the Dutch

Baruch! I almost choked on my oatmeal porridge just now when I discovered that there is such a thing as the Spinoza Prize in the Netherlands — for literature, microbiology, physics and medicine — and that the organizers, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), are keen to call them the “Dutch Nobel Prizes”. Must be a big deal, you’d think?

Not really. First, you can forget about winning the prize if you’re not Dutch. (That’s not very Nobel of them, now is it?) Second, check out what they’re winning it for. The winner for the microbiology prize?

His research has led to the development of lactic acid bacteria that can improve the taste and shelf life of cheese.

Yes indeed, in Holland you get a $1.5 million euro prize for inventing longer-lasting cheese. In our name, Baruch!


2 thoughts on ““Dutch Nobel Prizes” only for the Dutch”

  1. I met someone last year who extends the life of yeast by feeding them coffee. Sadly he is Canadian, so would not qualify for the Spinoza prize.

  2. It is not specifically literature, microbiology, medicine or physics, but all scientists/scholars at Dutch universities qualify for a Spinoza prize.

    I assume that there are more states which use their tax money to reward their citizens…?

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