Jewish contributions to knowledge

Trish, who often comments here, sent me an interesting list:

The Jewish/Islamic Score Card

The Global Islamic population is approximately 1,200,000,000, or 20% of the world population. They have received the following Nobel Prizes:


  • 1988 – Najib Mahfooz


  • 1978 – Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
  • 1994 – Yaser Arafat:
  • 1990 – Elias James Corey
  • 1999 – Ahmed Zewai




  • 1960 – Peter Brian Medawar
  • 1998 – Ferid Mourad


Meanwhile, the Global Jewish population is approximately 14,000,000, or about 0.02% of the world population. They have received the following Nobel Prizes:


  • 1910 – Paul Heyse
  • 1927 – Henri Bergson
  • 1958 – Boris Pasternak
  • 1966 – Shmuel Yosef Agnon
  • 1966 – Nelly Sachs
  • 1976 – Saul Bellow
  • 1978 – Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • 1981 – Elias Canetti
  • 1987 – Joseph Brodsky
  • 1991 – Nadine Gordimer World


  • 1911 – Alfred Fried
  • 1911 – Tobias Michael Carel Asser
  • 1968 – Rene Cassin
  • 1973 – Henry Kissinger
  • 1978 – Menachem Begin
  • 1986 – Elie Wiesel
  • 1994 – Shimon Peres
  • 1994 – Yitzhak Rabin


  • 1905 – Adolph Von Baeyer
  • 1906 – Henri Moissan
  • 1907 – Albert Abraham Michelson
  • 1908 – Gabriel Lippmann
  • 1910 – Otto Wallach
  • 1915 – Richard Willstaetter
  • 1918 – Fritz Haber
  • 1921 – Albert Einstein
  • 1922 – Niels Bohr
  • 1925 – James Franck
  • 1925 – Gustav Hertz
  • 1943 – Gustav Stern
  • 1943 – George Charles de Hevesy
  • 1944 – Isidor Issac Rabi
  • 1952 – Felix Bloch
  • 1954 – Max Born
  • 1958 – Igor Tamm
  • 1959 – Emilio Segre
  • 1960 – Donald A. Glaser
  • 1961 – Robert Hofstadter
  • 1961 – Melvin Calvin
  • 1962 – Lev Davidovich Landau
  • 1962 – Max Ferdinand Perutz
  • 1965 – Richard Phillips Feynman
  • 1965 – Julian Schwinger
  • 1969 – Murray Gell-Mann
  • 1971 – Dennis Gabor
  • 1972 – William Howard Stein
  • 1973 – Brian David Josephson
  • 1975 – Benjamin Mottleson
  • 1976 – Burton Richter
  • 1977 – Ilya Prigogine
  • 1978 – Arno Allan Penzias
  • 1978 – Peter L Kapitza
  • 1979 – Stephen Weinberg
  • 1979 – Sheldon Glashow
  • 1979 – Herbert Charles Brown
  • 1980 – Paul Berg
  • 1980 – Walter Gilbert
  • 1981 – Roald Hoffmann
  • 1982 – Aaron Klug
  • 1985 – Albert A. Hauptman
  • 1985 – Jerome Karle
  • 1986 – Dudley R. Herschbach
  • 1988 – Robert Huber
  • 1988 – Leon Lederman
  • 1988 – Melvin Schwartz
  • 1988 – Jack Steinberger
  • 1989 – Sidney Altman
  • 1990 – Jerome Friedman
  • 1992 – Rudolph Marcus
  • 1995 – Martin Perl
  • 2000 – Alan J. Heeger


  • 1970 – Paul Anthony Samuelson
  • 1971 – Simon Kuznets
  • 1972 – Kenneth Joseph Arrow
  • 1975 – Leonid Kantorovich
  • 1976 – Milton Friedman
  • 1978 – Herbert A. Simon
  • 1980 – Lawrence Robert Klein
  • 1985 – Franco Modigliani
  • 1987 – Robert M. Solow
  • 1990 – Harry Markowitz
  • 1990 – Merton Miller
  • 1992 – Gary Becker
  • 1993 – Robert Fogel


    • 1908 – Elie Metchnikoff
    • 1908 – Paul Erlich
    • 1914 – Robert Barany
    • 1922 – Otto Meyerhof
    • 1930 – Karl Landsteiner
    • 1931 – Otto Warburg
    • 1936 – Otto Loewi
    • 1944 – Joseph Erlanger
    • 1944 – Herbert Spencer Gasser
    • 1945 – Ernst Boris Chain
    • 1946 – Hermann Joseph Muller
    • 1950 – Tadeus Reichstein
    • 1952 – Selman Abra ham Waksman
    • 1953 – Hans Krebs
    • 1953 – Fritz Albert Lipmann
    • 1958 – Joshua Lederberg
    • 1959 – Arthur Kornberg
    • 1964 – Konrad Bloch
    • 1965 – Francois Jacob
    • 1965 – Andre Lwoff
    • 1967 – George Wald
    • 1968 – Marshall W. Nirenberg
    • 1969 – Salvador Luria
    • 1970 – Julius Axelrod
    • 1970 – Sir Bernard Katz
    • 1972 – Gerald Maurice Edelman
    • 1975 – Howard Martin Temin
    • 1976 – Baruch S. Blumberg
    • 1977 – Roselyn Sussman Yalow
    • 1978 – Daniel Nathans
    • 1980 – Baruj Benacerraf
    • 1984 – Cesar Milstein
    • 1985 – Michael Stuart Brown
    • 1985 – Joseph L. Goldstein
    • 1986 – Stanley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
    • 1988 – Gertrude Elion
    • 1989 – Harold Varmus
    • 1991 – Erwin Neher
    • 1991 – Bert Sakmann
    • 1993 – Richard J. Roberts
    • 1993 – Phillip Sharp
    • 1994 – Alfred Gilman
    • 1995 – Edward B. Lewis

I think the paucity of Arabs on the list is sad. As for the high Jewish presence, I think that’s going to change. As American Jews become increasingly assimilated, they will take a less and less prominent position on that list. European Jews will vanish (they’ll emigrate or die), and Israeli Jews, who are still inventing and discovering wonderful things, will be barred from the list (assuming, God forbid, that they haven’t been destroyed entirely). The one thing I think we can bet on is that, as Jewish representation on the list declines in future, Arab representation will not correspondingly increase. But maybe I’m being unduly pessimistic.

I also wanted to comment on Trish’s nice suggestion in her email to me that we should have a “Jewish Pride Month.” My sense is that those of us Jews who do not fall into the pathetic “self-loathing Jew” category simply carry our pride around with us. And, indeed, I think it’s a much better way than forcing pride on everyone else. No matter what they say, I’m not glowing with pride personally during February’s Black Pride Month — and this is despite the fact that I feel great admiration for those blacks who have done things that should appropriately make people — any people — proud. In other words, acts, not legislative acts, create pride.

By the way, if my experience is any guide, all Jews grow up identifying who is Jewish. It used to be that every Jew knew that Leslie Howard (known nowadays for his role in Gone With the Wind) was a Hungarian Jew. We also all know that Leonard Nimoy is Jewish and are embarrassed that William Shatner is! No matter whether the person did something wonderful or something horrible, someone in a room of Jews will ask out loud (if it was wonderful) or sotto voce (if it was horrible), “Is he Jewish?” Or, perhaps, if it’s definitely wonderful, you’ll always hear “He’s Jewish, you know.”

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  • jg

    “The one thing I think we can bet on is that, as Jewish representation on the list declines in future, Arab representation will not correspondingly increase. But maybe I’m being unduly pessimistic.”

    Bookworm, the way things are going, there WON’T BE A LIST in the FUTURE.
    So you’re not being pessmistic!
    You think Islam/the secular West cares about these accomplishments?
    Check out THEIR educational establishments!

  • Pastor Ray

    Yet, Bookie, Arab culture extends from Gibraltar to Jakarta, whereas Jewish culture beggars a slip of desert in the western Mediterranean. Which is to say, there’s more than one way to praise — and diminish — a culture’s impact, and only those with too much beer in their system win pissing contests.

  • Ymarsakar

    See what I’m talking about? People like Ray don’t fear the Jews, simply because the Jews have one component of power, which is technology. But they don’t have the other component, the barbarian component that allows for great population and a strict Spartan warrior ethos.

    Only by having complete power, the full actualization of potentia as with the United States, will you ever be able to achieve ultimate victory. Israel is at the point where their power is imbalanced, and therefore vulnerable to various things, not least of all is the perception by people like Ray concerning their small population and area of influence.

    Did you know that by building muscle tone with calisthenics and endurance exercises, you are not only increasing your maximum strength, but also your ability to absorb damage, Bookworm? By tensing the muscle walls, it forms a shield, to absorb or deflect the force of blows. The stronger the muscles, the stronger the wall. In addition to that, real strength also provides for increased speed. People refer to increased speed often as “good reflexes”. While it is true that you are faster when your neural sub-net passes messages faster, it is also true that you become faster when your muscles can contract the weight of your bone/limb as if it weighed nothing. We all know that it takes more time to move a heavy object than a lighter object. A person with strong muscles, with real strength in terms of power to weight ratios, is able to move his body at faster speeds simply because his muscles are a big engine while his chasis is a light composite frame. To use racing terms.

    Complete real power is not just technology, it is the full package just like real strength is not just big muscles and the ability to bench press a horse.

    Everyone respects and fears power. Once you have real power, you have little fear of threats. That itself may become a problem (pre 9/11), but absolute annihilation isn’t one on the list.

  • Ymarsakar

    Neo put up some new case in France, you might be interested book considering you’re a lawyer.

    It’s about a defamation suite by France 2, against bloggers for posting up the truth about France 2’s propaganda operations in the past, like Al Durah.

  • Trish

    Maybe the ethnicity of the list shouldn’t matter.
    Just a thought.

    Considering the extreme political prejudice of the Nobel Prize Committee, I’d be ashamed if I did receive recognition from them. Not that I ever expect to, of course.

  • jg

    I agree that Sweden and the Scandinavian states are odd in their politics, as Trish alludes. Neo had a post about (of all people) a children’s writer who hated Israel. He was Norwegian and popular. Many Norwegians seemed to feel that criticizing Israel was not anti semitic.

    DWTV (English translation of German news) (Sept 8) (seen on DirectTV from Berlin) had a lead story about worshippers? at a Berlin mosque who allowed outsiders to witness their call for a cessation of terrorism.

    Odd that outsiders would be allowed in for this one ceremony, one devoted to praying (hard, hard to believe) for the American and world VICTIMS of SEPTEMBER 11. The Muslim leaders, and the DW voice-over, noted that Muslim leaders are pressing for Muslims to integrate better into German society.

    Could things be changing–not in Scandinavia– but in Germany?

  • Ymarsakar

    [Ilya Somin, September 9, 2006 at 12:15am] 0 Trackbacks / Possibly More Trackbacks
    Russian Jews and the Liberal Jewish Establishment:

    David Bernstein’s post about conservative Jews being alienated from the liberal Jewish establishment is particularly relevant to the special case of Russian immigrant Jews. Russian Jews are politically well to the right of most native-born Jews. For example, some 75% of Russian Jews voted for Bush in 2004, compared to less than 20% of other Jews.

    Russian Jewish immigrants tend to be very secular and are therefore are not socially conservative; although I haven’t seen polling data on the subject, I suspect that the vast majority of Russian immigrant Jews are pro-choice, for example. But they are, on average, far to the right of native-born Jews on national security issues and economic policy (because of the experience of living under socialism). Russian Jews are in the unusual position of being a highly secular, yet also generally right-wing ethnic group.

    These ideological differences between Russian and native-born Jews are not new. In the 1970s and 80s, many Russian Jewish immigrants were angered by the fact that most mainstream Jewish organizations opposed taking a hard line against the Soviet Union. However, the War on Terror (on which most Russian Jews are more hawkish than native-born Jews), has increased the saliency of these disagreements. This has led to a number of Russian vs. native-born disputes within Jewish organizations, similar to the ones documented in the Wall Street Journal article linked above.

    Volokh has an interesting piece on sub-Jewish groups.

  • erp

    I read some time back that City College (CUNY) produced more Nobel prize recipients than any other institution here or abroad. I’d love the know how many on your list are City College grads.


    Before it was befouled in the mid-60’s, NYC had the finest educational system from kindergarten through graduate school ever seen on the face of the earth. Children who spoke many diverse languages when they came to school, picked up English with no fanfare and got a great education. I know because I was one of those kids.

    Students entering high school could choose from many diverse highly selective specialty high schools which admitted students solely on the basis of their academic achievements and even the regular high schools offered programs leading to diplomas for everyone from Aggies (yes, Aggies even had a working farm not far from the Queens College campus) to Techies, to Commercial to Academic to General.

    Top high school seniors from any of the five boroughs could apply to one of the city colleges (City College, Hunter College, Brooklyn College, Queens College and maybe one or two others, I’ve forgotten). Admission was based solely on academic achievement and all costs were picked by New York City taxpayers who really got their money’s worth.

    It mattered not whether you were rich or poor. If you made the cut, you were in. I’m proud to say that I am myself a product of this system.

    So all the blather about the difficulty of educating children blah blah is just noise. We know how to educate kids, the problem is those in charge of our schools don’t want to produce informed independent citizens. They want to produce ignorant fearful people who will elect and re-elect leftwing politicians who promise them custodial care for their lifetimes.

  • J

    IQ wise, Jews average a standard deviation above normal, Arabs a standard deviation below normal. Lack of brain power has a lot to do with their culture being so vile.

  • judyrose

    Like erp, I’m a product of the NYC school system, and a graduate of Brooklyn College. Before John Lindsey created open enrollment at CUNY, thereby obliterating competitive entrance requirements, it was a great place to go to school (and still enjoy my mother’s cooking every night).

    BW, this line in your post really took me back: “By the way, if my experience is any guide, all Jews grow up identifying who is Jewish.” We were huge Dodger fans back in those days when there were still three baseball teams in NY – Yankees, Dodgers, and (yicchhhh) the Giants. One day, my grandmother told us kids that Jackie Robinson was Jewish. We were young, but not so young that we weren’t just a little skeptical. But she insisted. When we asked our mother why Grandma thought Jackie Robinson was Jewish, she explained that it was just Grandma’s way of identifying him as one of “her own.” If she liked you, you were Jewish. That was it. No argument.

  • jg

    An interesting letter about Jewish identity, from May 2006, cited at American Digest:

    “Dear Mr. Mahmood Ahmadi-Najad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, I am writing in response to your call for Jews in Israel to go back to their countries of origin. The purpose of this letter is to explain to you why what you are saying is dangerous, irresponsible, and above all impossible.

    I want to ask you, Mr. President, who are the Jews that you are sending “home”? are you inviting two and half million Israeli Jews (nearly half the Jews here) whose families emigrated from Iraq, Morocco, Egypt, Syria and other Arab countries, to come back “home”? Please don’t blame me, Mr. President, for questioning the type of reception they would receive upon arrival. Is it possible, Mr. Ahmadi-Najad, that you simply miss Moshe Katzav, Israel’s President, and Dan Halutz, the IDF chief of staff, whose families emigrated from Iran?”

  • pst314

    You missed Abdus Salam, a Pakistani Muslim, who shared the 1979 Nobel Prize for Physics with Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg for work on unifying the weak nuclear force and electromagnetism.

  • Lulu

    Pastor Ray,

    Arab culture may have more adherents and more space, but Jews have always been small in number but remarkable in impact. This is what historian, Paul Johnson wrote in his Epilogue,of “A History of the Jews”;
    “Certianly the world without the Jews would have been a radically different place. Humanity might have eventually stumbled upon all the Jewish insights. But we cannot be sure. All the great conceptual discoveries of the intellect seem obvious and inescapable once they have been revealed, but it requires a special genius to formulate them for the first time. The Jews had this gift. To them we owe the idea of equality before the law, both divine and human; of the sanctity of life and the dignity of the human person; of the individual conscience and so of personal redemption; of the collective conscience and so of social responsibility; of peace as an abstract ideal and love as the foundation of justice, and many other items which constitute the the basic moral furniture of the human mind. Without the Jews it might have been a much emptier place.
    Above all, the Jews taught us to rationalize the unknown. The result was monotheism and the three great religions which profess it.”

    He says much more, and eloquently. The Jews may be small in number but hold a special role whether chosen by God or by their own actions to make their mark to better the world. If you call that a “pissing contest”, so be it.