Who Will Create the New Nobel Prize?

By Alexander Imich, Ph.D.

From the Editors

On February 4, 2002, an amazing New Yorker, Dr. Alexander Imich, celebrated 99 years of vital and active life here on Earth. Although he “retired” over 30 years ago, Dr. Imich has not stopped working. Dr. Imich is a well-known researcher in the science of parapsychology and the author ofIncredible Tales of the Paranormal. At the age of 93, Dr. Imich enrolled in a course of study at the IM School of Healing Arts in Manhattan and graduated at age 96. In 1999, he founded the Anomalous Phenomena Research Center and is working hard to raise money for a research project, The Crucial Demonstration, the goal of which is to demonstrate incontrovertibly the reality of paranormal phenomena to mainstream scientists and the general public.

Recently, Dr. Imich proposed a visionary idea: the creation of a new scientific prize to supplement the Nobel Prize. His life and career have spanned the 20th century, as has the Nobel Prize, and it is clear to him that a new prize, recognizing other worthy disciplines, is needed for the 21st century. The concept put forward by Dr. Imich should attract a great deal of interest from socially concerned men and women who are shaping our world today.

It is with pleasure that The Journal of the Mindshift Institute publishes this article by Dr. Imich. We are glad to help to give voice to a worthy idea that has the potential to benefit our planet for centuries to come.

In 1901, the Nobel Prize was born. Alfred Bernhard Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, created the prize that bears his name, in part to compensate for the misuse of his discovery. In 1903, the year of my birth, the Wright Brothers opened the era of human flight. As with many human inventions, the airplane and dynamite soon were combined to usher in a new form of destruction through science. For nearly a century, the Nobel Prize has been awarded to those who have made discoveries that advance human knowledge and improve the world. There are six Nobel categories: peace, physiology or medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, and economics (which was added in 1968).

My life has spanned the 20th century. The Nobel Prize and I were infants together. As a young man, seduced by the stories of Jack London and Joseph Conrad, I dreamed of adventures in tropical seas and entered a maritime school to become a sea captain. However, because of religious intolerance against Jews, I was forced to leave the school. I entered the university and earned a degree in zoology. But here again, because of my religion, I was not able to obtain an academic position. I had to change my profession and was able finally to start earning my living as a chemist. Then came World War II. My parents perished in a concentration camp. I spent the war years struggling in a foreign country.

I have witnessed and experienced the best and worst of mankind during the past 96 years and I still remain hopeful that humanity can solve many of its problems. As the 20th century comes to a close, I think it is time for a new Nobel Prize.

The Nobel Prize is wonderful but limited in its scope. I propose a new prize that honors other worthy professions that contribute to making our world better—mathematics, astronomy, psychology, philosophy and cyberscience. All of these are important branches of contemporary science, and those who work in these fields worldwide, deserve recognition for their accomplishments.

Is there a new Alfred Nobel around today among the titans of the brave new global economy? Will a Bill Gates, a Paul Allen, a George Soros or a Warren Buffet step forward to create a 21st century partner for the Nobel Prize?Or will an Oprah Winfrey or Steven Spielberg step forward from the entertainment world and help to create such an enterprise?Perhaps the new force for this effort is to be found among a member of the younger generation, such as the singer-songwriter Jewel or the Silicon Valley entrepreneur Joseph Firmage. Such a new international prize would add the luster of possible immortality to its founder, as we have seen with the Nobel Prize. If there is no one willing or able to create a new prize for several disciplines, perhaps someone can fund an award for one of these worthy branches of science.

Alfred Nobel was far-sighted and clear-thinking when he made his prize an international one. Today, it is becoming increasingly obvious that we are all Planetary Citizens. It is not only corporations that are global; the family of man is global as well. And the family is growing. When I was born, the population of Earth was 1. 7 billion. In 2000, it surpassed 6 billion. The human family is now extending its reach beyond the home planet. We are becoming a space-faring species.

The disciplines I propose for the new prize will help us in the exploration of outer space and help us become beings worthy of moving beyond our war-torn planet. Cyberscience and mathematics will help in the development of the technology of space travel. They are all vital tools for exploring outer space. Psychology and philosophy willhelp us to learn who we are and to understand the motivations for our actions. They are essential tools for exploring inner space.

In my life, I have witnessed the development of flight, the automobile, electrification of nations, the telephone, the radio and television, atomic energy, the wonders of bioscientific medicine, computer technology, great advances in our knowledge of the cosmos, men walking on the moon—the list could go on and on. Many contributions to these areas have been recognized by the Nobel Prize committee, but not all. There are many others who also deserve the highest scientific honor.

Will the founder of the New Nobel Prize please step forward?

©2002 Journal of the Minshift Institute