It’s true that the Jews are often called the “People of the Book”, and Israelis seem to have been hitting the chemistry books pretty hard. In fact, half of the Israeli Nobel Laureates won in the chemistry category.
With 12 Nobels, Israel actually has more prizes per capita than the U.S., France and Germany, and more actual laureates than India, Spain, and China.
It’s impressive, but also ironic, given how much the early immigrants tried to shrug off the idea of the Jew as an intellectual and replace it with a new, strong, muscular Jewish image.
This week we’re figuring out why Israelis have so much chemistry with chemistry, looking at the amazing stories behind each Nobel Prizewinner and asking why Israelis have done so well in the Nobel stakes.