International Educator - May/June 2015 - 7

FRONTLINES

In 2013 all three winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry were immigrants to the United States. Michael Levitt,
a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, was born in South Africa. Martin Karplus, who was
born in Austria, is a professor at Harvard University. And
Israeli-born Arieh Warshel teaches at the University of
Southern California, in Los Angeles.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the
Nobel Prize to the three men for laying "the foundation
for the powerful [computer] programs that are used to
understand and predict chemical processes. Computer
models mirroring real life have become crucial for most
advances made in chemistry today."3
The Nobel Prize in Medicine has also seen a trend of
increasing immigrant contributions. From 1901 to 1959,
nine immigrants to the United States won the Nobel Prize
in Medicine. But from 1960 to 2014, 28 immigrants were
awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.4

Figure 2
Immigrant Nobel Prize Winners in Medicine
1901-2014
28

21

14

1901-1959

Immigrant Nobel Prize Winners in Physics
1901-2014
22
17
11
6
0

1901-1959

1960-2014

Source: Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, National Foundation for American Policy,
George Mason University Institute for Immigration Research.

If one combines the Nobel Prizes awarded in the three
science categories, then it is possible to see the division
on immigrant contributions before and after 1960. Over
approximately the same length of time, immigrants have
won three times as many Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, Medicine, and Physics since 1960 as they won prior to 1960.
(Immigrants won 73 Chemistry, Medicine, and Physics
awards between 1960 and 2014, compared with 25 between 1901 and 1959.)

In physics, 15 immigrants won the Nobel Prize from
1901 to 1959, while 22 immigrants won the Nobel Prize
in Physics between 1960 and 2014. The prevalence of so
many immigrant winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics
prior to 1959 owes not to generous U.S. immigration policies, which were restrictive during that time period, but
to the rise of fascism in Europe. Government policies that
institutionalized anti-Semitism and persecution, such as
laws banning Jews from holding certain jobs, restricting
admission to university and confiscating property drove
many outstanding Jewish scientists out of Germany and
other countries. One of the few ways around restrictive
U.S. immigration rules prior to World War II was to receive a job offer from a U.S. university. That "loophole" is
how the United States gained the contributions of notable
INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M AY + J U N E .15

Immigrant Nobel Prize Winners in Chemistry,
Medicine and Physics (Combined) 1901-2014

1960-2014

Source: Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, National Foundation for American Policy,
George Mason University Institute for Immigration Research.

6  

Figure 3

Figure 4

7

0

scientists such as Enrico Fermi and ultimately led to the
success of the Manhattan Project, the race to build the
first atomic bomb.

80
60
40
20
0

1901-1959

1960-2014

Source: Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, National Foundation for American Policy,
George Mason University Institute for Immigration Research.

Another way to look at the data is to examine the percentage of immigrants among U.S. Nobel Prize recipients
in science fields since the year 2000. Out of the 72 Nobel
Prizes won by U.S. citizens in Chemistry, Medicine, and
Physics since 2000, 25 (35 percent) have been awarded to
immigrants. (See Figure 5.)


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2015

Pathfinders
Job Search: An American Tale
On the Rise
Frontlines
In Brief
Voices
Education Abroad
Foreign Student Affairs
International Enrollment
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover1
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 1
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 2
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Frontlines
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 8
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 9
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 10
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2015 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 14
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 15
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 16
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 20
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Voices
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 24
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Pathfinders
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 30
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 32
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 36
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Job Search: An American Tale
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 42
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 44
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 45
International Educator - May/June 2015 - On the Rise
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 50
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 52
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International Educator - May/June 2015 - 54
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 56
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 60
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 62
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 64
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 65
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 67
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 68
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 69
International Educator - May/June 2015 - International Enrollment
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 71
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 72
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 73
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 75
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 76
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 77
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 78
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 79
International Educator - May/June 2015 - In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 81
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 82
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 83
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International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover4
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