Nobel Prize Conversations season 4

Through their lives and work, failures and successes – get to know the individuals who have been awarded the Nobel Prize. ‘Nobel Prize Conversations’ is back with a new season featuring the 2021 Nobel Prize laureates. 

‘Nobel Prize Conversations’ is a podcast with a new episode every Thursday. This new season will be the fourth. The host for the podcast is Adam Smith, who has the happy task of interviewing the Nobel Prize laureates. 

Season 4 is produced by Filt Hinterland and Nobel Prize Outreach in cooperation with Fundación Ramón Areces.


Giorgio Parisi

”If children are not curious they will not be able to work”

Some people manage to retain the relentless curiosity of a child into adulthood, keeping them on a constant quest of exploration. Meet Giorgio Parisi, who tells us about his journey of curiosity, which started by learning to read numbers at the age of three: “I was reading the number of the bus when the bus was arriving.” At an early age, he also started to read the Russian author Leo Tolstoy, as his parents’ large library encouraged reading.

Giorgio Parisi describes his life journey and how he ultimately decided to dedicate his life to physics as that topic made more sense to him than mathematics. In 2021 he was awarded the physics prize “for the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales.” He shared the prize with Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann.


Joshua Angrist

”I never stop thinking about my work”

Meet economist Joshua Angrist who believes that to be a good labour economist, you should have had some real life job experience.

In conversation with our podcast host Adam Smith, Angrist tells us about his disinterest in school and how as a teenager he was more interested in earning money and maintaining his car. His later surprising and instant connection with economics led him to dedicate his life to his research: “I never stop thinking about my work.”

Joshua Angrist was awarded the 2021 prize in economic sciences and speaks about how the award has affected his life; “It was wonderful to win the Nobel Prize but I am the same guy I was on October 10th.”


Ardem Patapoutian

”The best thing was to come up with the experiment itself”

2021 medicine laureate Ardem Patapoutian tells us about his shock and happiness after receiving the Nobel Prize, or as he puts it: “All of us in science know that the Nobel Prize is a big deal but I really didn’t anticipate it to be this big of a deal.” 

Patapoutian also shares his life story immigrating to the US from war-wrecked Lebanon as a young boy. He speaks about his beautiful home country and its excellent food and warm people and the new life in the US and his university experience at UCLA. Patapoutian tells us that he quickly fell in love with the idea of doing science: “The best thing was not to see if the experiment worked, the best thing was to come up with the experiment itself.” 

He also shares a strong and valuable message: “We all take things for granted, whether it is our jobs, our schools, our parents, our family and the best thing to not take anything for granted is to let go off it a little and then you realise how much something means to you.”  

Ardem Patapoutian was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2021 for discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch.


David MacMillan

”Organic chemistry found me as much as I found it”

In this first episode, meet football fan and chemist David MacMillan. Together with podcast host Adam Smith, he speaks about the importance of storytelling and his strong belief that “science is supposed to be about having fun, it is not supposed to be about intimidating people.”

MacMillan shares his journey from a family where no one had gone to university to becoming a Nobel Prize laureate. He was awarded the chemistry prize in 2021 for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis. We also hear about how his upbringing in Scotland shaped him as a scientist and why his parents insisted that he went to university.

David MacMillan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2021 for his work on asymmetric organocatalysis.


Find Nobel Prize Conversations season 1-2
Find Nobel Prize Conversations season 3


First published April 2022

To cite this section
MLA style: Nobel Prize Conversations season 4. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2022. Thu. 26 May 2022. <https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel-prize-conversations-4/>