It is of interest that the per capita number of Nobel prizewinnners by country provides another view than that shown by Ellie Bothwell’s report, which is based on overall numbers (“Stanford top of class for Nobel laureates”, News, 6 August).
Whether in terms of overall number of Nobel prizes by country (2000-14), or the cited score for that period, when using country populations, the US and the UK come out virtually the same on a per capita basis.
All the other countries come out in virtually the same sequence on either measure, with at most one switch in the sequence (for example, the UK is trivially ahead of the US based on cited score, with again similar numbers but the order reversed based on overall number of prizes).
Further, Israel and Norway far outstrip all the others on both criteria, although their performances are based on much smaller numbers.
Paul G. Ellis
Business school tutor and academic copy-editor
London and Chichester