Topic: How To Invest

What is Pat’s commentary for the week of April 12, 2016

Article Excerpt

Nobel Prizes for scientific discoveries—particularly in physics, chemistry, physiology, medicine and economics—often go to two or three individuals. (Three is the maximum that Nobel rules allow.) You might think these groups are made up of people who were working together. In fact, the Nobel winners often worked independently from each other. Historians refer to this as “multiple independent discovery.” It’s a common pattern in science, and goes back centuries. For instance, Isaac Newton (1642–1726) commonly gets credit for the discovery of calculus (the mathematical study of rates of change). Newton was an English physicist and mathematician (described in those days as a “natural philosopher”). His work made him the obvious choice for the honour, especially in the English-speaking world. However, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) claimed to have developed calculus independently of Newton. Liebniz was a German philosopher and polymath (an intellectual jack-of-all-trades), so his claim to the discovery carried less weight. A rivalry developed between them. They sniped at each…

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