ST. PETERSBURG/MOSCOW, September 3 (RIA Novosti) – US President Barack Obama should not have been given the Nobel Peace Prize, vice president of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Nobel physics prize laureate Zhores Alferov said.
“I was surprised when Obama was awarded the prize. From my point of view, he doesn’t deserve it at all,” Alferov, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2000, stated Monday.
“It should never have been given to him,” he said, when asked what he thought of Obama’s award in light of the president’s recent decision to ask US Congress for approval of a military strike against Syria.
Alferov noted that in “hard sciences” such as physics, chemistry and mathematics, Nobel prizes are often awarded only for outstanding work that has led to scientific revelations that stand the test of time, while in other areas this process is less clear.
“Literature is already something of a specific area. There are defined attitudes of taste. And sometimes the prize is awarded with elements of great political influence,” he said. He cited as an example the 1953 Nobel Prize for Literature, which was awarded to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill for his World War II memoirs. When Churchill was told he had won the prize, he allegedly said, “I hope it’s not for peace!”
Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” according to a statement on the prize’s website.
Alexei Pushkov, head of the Russian parliament’s International Affairs Committee, wrote on his Twitter page Friday that Obama should be stripped of the prize if the US attacks Syria.
According to the official website of the Nobel Prize, the statutes of the Nobel Foundation do not allow for any prize to be revoked.