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About Obama's meeting with Nobel winners

By Ed O'Keefe

President Obama's meeting on Tuesday afternoon with American recipients of the Nobel prizes is especially noteworthy since he's one of 11 countrymen receiving the global honor.

Obama is scheduled to meet with recipients in the Oval Office this afternoon, along with the Swedish and Norwegian ambassadors and John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.


Though the meeting is closed to the press, an administration source said Holdren is expected to remind Obama that at least eight of this year's Nobel winners received tens of millions of dollars in federal research and development funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and Energy Department. That's an important achievement for government scientists and the broader scientific community since some of those agencies may see flat or near-flat budget increases in the coming years.

Holdren is also expected to note the historic nature of this year's recipients: Four Nobel winners are women -- the most ever -- and three of the women are Americans, including the first woman ever to win the economic sciences award.

Read the breakdown of federal funding provided to winners after the jump:

The three winners in physiology or medicine, Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak, have received more than $22 million in research grants over the years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of NIH. Blackburn also received more than $2 million from NIH’s National Cancer Institute and more than $400,000 from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Greider was granted more than $7 million from the National Institute on Aging. Szostak has also earned more than $2 million from the National Science Foundation for various projects.

NIGMS also helped fund the work of the two American winners in chemistry, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz. The pair share this year's prize with Israeli Ada E. Yonath. NIGMS has granted them more than $14 million since 1971, and total NIH support for the researchers has exceeded $17 million. Steitz also earned more than $500,000 from NSF over a seven-year period. The Americans conducted much of their research Energy Department's Brookhaven National Laboratory.

This year's economic sciences winners -- Oliver Williamson and Elinor Ostrom -- have received monies from NSF. Ostrom has been granted $27.2 million over the course of her studies and Williamson has earned $235,900 for two projects.

By Ed O'Keefe  | December 1, 2009; 10:20 AM ET
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Is the amount of money received by Dr. Ostrom a misprint? Generally speaking, the non-science academic areas require far less laboratory equipment, and $27 million seems like a large amount to conduct economic research.

Posted by: anujgupta | December 1, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

On the same day he announces an escalation of the occupation of Afghanistan? Is he trying to make a mockery of the Nobel prize? He should give his peace prize back, or say no thank you -- it's a complete sham.

Posted by: SarahBB | December 1, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

obama's sham Nobel prize is an embarrassment. As is sham obama.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | December 1, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I wish I could tell from reading this if these people actually produced any results of if they just chuncked out a politically appealing junk computer model like polar bear extinction woman.

Posted by: Elisa2 | December 1, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

So real scientists are meeting with a failed community organizer who has relied on the color of his skin to succeed, while these scientists have used their brains to succeed. Can't wait for one of them to ask the Messiah the rational of how global warming is caused by humans. LMAO!! I think the teleprompter will be by his side at all times!!

Posted by: cschotta1 | December 1, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse


Free Nobel Prize With 2 Shrimp Tacos

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | December 1, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Obama who????
We are all waiting to hear from President Biden.

The P C days are over.
He is a fraud with illegally hidden intel.

Fraud Fraud Fraud.

Boycott all Obozo speeches and force media to hear your dissent for this fraud.

Posted by: dottydo | December 1, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Obongo as the Congo line drum war lord dressed in his inherited big head ego sized W. Cowboy hat, in speedo's, (President of the Pacific self proclaimed emperor with no money aka no clothes), with John Kerry's borrowed flip flops on.

I hope he gets to stand next to the guy with the ladies bra gas mask on.


Posted by: dottydo | December 1, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Bush, the lesser, lead us into the deepest economic hole in decades, two unwinnable wars, and nearly-unanimous loathing from the rest of the world.

Yet somehow the yahoos in this comment section blame it all on Obama.

Their comments are Priceless. As in, "without worth."

Posted by: egc52556 | December 1, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

When you write "Steitz also earned more than $500,000 from NSF over a seven-year period" do you really mean he was paid that in salary, or he simply raised that much grant money. I rather strongly suspect the latter as this would be an enormous amount of grant salary for just 7 years; as a professor most of his salary would be paid by Yale. The vast majority of federal research grant money, which in any case is granted to the institution, not the individual, is not paid as salary to the principal investigators, but spent on lab expenses and other salaries (including salaries for graduate students and technicians). In my case, generally less than 10% of an NSF grant will go to me as salary.

Please check this and correct your story.

Posted by: wmw4 | December 1, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Fraud with bling is a better headline for your piece ED.

Posted by: dottydo | December 1, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

WOW - some of these comments are so...

Posted by: rlj1 | December 1, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

The others probably received nobel awards on merit, unlike Obama. How the misguided norway committee of five can give a peace prize to a war president is beyond my understanding. Others have received the "peace" prize who were warmongers or oppressors and some, such as Gandhi, who should have received the nobel peace prize were denied, so this fraudulent award is not unprecedented.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | December 1, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

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