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Nobel Prizes

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New York Times

New York Times reporter Jeanna Smialek explores the work of Prof. Joshua Angrist, who was honored as a recipient of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work developing “research tools that help economists use real-life situations to test big theories, like how additional education affects earnings.” Angrist and his fellow recipients David Card and Guido Imbens “ushered in a new phase in labor economics that has now reached all fields of the profession,” said Prof. Trevon D. Logan of Ohio State.

The Boston Globe

Prof. Joshua Angrist was named a winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize for Economics for “a body of work stretching across decades that has sought to answer the complex questions at the crux of modern political discussion through the lens of proven research,” writes Andrew Brinker for The Boston Globe. “It’s just the greatest honor a person could have,” said Angrist. “It’s a high point of my life.”

Financial Times

Profs. Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee speak with Financial Times reporter Martin Sandbu about the need for better economic “plumbing,” the shortcomings of policy to address climate change and the state of the profession of economics. Duflo notes that before the pandemic there had been improvement in quality of life around the world, "in part because of more focus on these quality of life issues and, I would argue, a little bit more attention given to plumbing and setting pragmatic objectives and programs as opposed to aiming for some more elusive growth.”

New York Times

Prof. Esther Duflo speaks with Francesca Donner of The New York Times about her views on G.D.P., financial incentives, and how to encourage women to pursue careers in economics. “One of the mistakes made by economists in general was to agree collectively that G.D.P., and perhaps the stock market, is how we acknowledge success in a country,” says Duflo. “G.D.P. measures the value added in a country, but life is so much more than that.”


Andrea Ghez ’87 speaks with Carol Stabile of Ms. magazine about the importance of representation in encouraging more women and people of color to pursue careers in STEM fields. Ghez recalls how her science teacher in high school encouraged her to apply to MIT, describing the experience as “'a lovely early lesson in how to persevere,’ that helped her to develop what she described as the muscle to persevere, and to turn problems into opportunities to grow and learn.”

CBS Boston

CBS Boston spotlights how Andrea Ghez ’87 has been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for her work discovering a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. “It really represents the basic research - you don’t always know how it is going to affect our lives here on Earth, but it is pushing the frontier of our knowledge forward," says Ghez, "both from the point of view of pure physics (understanding what a black hole is), and then also their astrophysical world in the formation and evolution of galaxies.”

The Boston Globe

Andrea Ghez ’87 has been selected as one of the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for her work advancing our understanding of black holes. "Black holes, because they are so hard to understand, is what makes them so appealing,'' says Ghez. “I really think of science as a big, giant puzzle.”

National Public Radio (NPR)

Profs. Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee join NPR’s Planet Money for overrated or underrated, a game in which Banerjee and Duflo, winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, “rate everything from bread to foreign aid to dating an economist.”

Boston Globe

MIT Profs. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo as well as Prof. Michael Kremer of Harvard, who won this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics, will donate their $916,000 in prize money to the Weiss Fund for Research in Development Economics. “The donations will fund research grants that support the work of development economists and students through 2035,” reports Abbi Matheson for The Boston Globe.


Prof. Esther Duflo speaks with Molly Wood, host of the Marketplace Tech podcast, about the ways in which she uses artificial intelligence to enhance her poverty research. Machine learning allows researchers to pinpoint “where the program is the most effective, and therefore where a government with limited budget would want to expand it,” explains Duflo.


Prof. Emeritus and Nobel laureate Peter Diamond speaks with Meghna Chakrabarti of On Point about U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal to increase the top marginal tax rate to 70 percent. “That will raise a lot of money that we could [use to] address some of our shortfalls and that will help us prepare for the large costs coming from climate change,” says Diamond of the proposal.

Associated Press

MIT alumnus William Nordaus has been awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work studying the interaction between climate change and the economy, reports Dave Keyton and Jim Heintz for the AP. Nordhaus shared the award with Paul Romer, who also conducted graduate work at MIT.

Boston Globe

Prof. Emeritus Rainer Weiss has been named to The Boston Globe’s list of the 2017 Bostonians of the Year for his work starting a new revolution in astronomy. Globe reporter Eric Moskowitz notes that Weiss, “shared the Nobel Prize for Physics for conceiving and shepherding a set of observatories that allowed scientists to prove Einstein’s assertion about gravitational waves.”


WBUR’s Bruce Gellerman profiles Nobel laureate Prof. Emeritus Rainer Weiss, noting that his “stories of accomplishments and failure are legendary at MIT.” Prof. Peter Fisher, head of the Physics Department, says that Weiss, "is a tremendously intelligent man, but he’s got more perseverance, I think, than anyone else.”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Eric Moskowitz spotlights the work of Prof. Emeritus Rainer Weiss, who was named one of the recipients of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for the “decades of determination” he invested in detecting gravitational waves. Moskowitz writes that Weiss is still, “as energized as ever by the thrill of scientific discovery.”