Leading or lagging indicator of scientific achievement?

In a piece of writing entitled "Bright Scientists, Dim Notions" published in the New York Times on October 28, 2007, writer George Johnson raises several examples of jarring and perplexing pronouncements made by a few past Nobel laureates including James Watson, Francis Crick, Kary Mullis, Fred Hoyle, and Brian Josephson.  George Johnson’s piece can be accessed at  https://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/weekinreview/28johnson.html?_r=1&adxnnl =1&oref=slogin&ref=science&adxnnlx=1193583001-IE12EKQeJt1sjwCUOYPVWg .  It is an interesting piece of writing that poses a question as to whether many prestigious scientific prizes are sometimes lagging rather than leading indicators of scientific achievements. 

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