I applaud it. The winner developed in vitro fertilization, which has helped millions of parents. In contrast to last year’s prize for telomere research, which has helped no one. Notice what in vitro fertilization is not: It is not taking a powerful poorly-tested drug for the rest of your life — the drug industry’s preferred answer to all problems. It is not expensive (given the benefits). Unlike health care in general. It is not dangerous, unlike many drugs and surgeries. It is not molecular biology. It is barely science (uncovering cause and effect). If the prize were given for research like this year after year, many biologists who now dream of winning a Nobel Prize would stop dreaming. It is not a typical Nobel Prize. They waited so long to award it that the winner became demented. Above all, the prize-winning work was not mainstream medical research. The winner and his collaborator endured “an unremitting barrage of criticism”, unlike almost any other medical researcher.
The award is unflattering to medical ethicists, who did a lot to try to prevent the prize-winning work.