ground- water, geo- statistics, environmental- engineering, earth- science

Prizes: Nobel in Economics, Right Livelihood, Tragedy of the Commons

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Nobel Prize in Economics

update Thursday; October 29, 2009: here is an overview-article, “The Non-Tragedy of the Commons”. It deals like my post with Hardin’s paper, it includes additional references to Elinor Ostrom’s work, and it shows solutions how the commons can be managed well.

The Nobel Price in Economics has been awarded this year to Elinor Ostrom. Besides being the first woman who has been awarded the Nobel Price in economics, she is also the first environmental economist. The Nobel Committee explains its choice for her due to her research on “problems related to the use of commons such as fishing grounds, groundwater resources, forests and pastures”.

According to The Globe and Mail,

Dr. Ostrom’s research, and her celebrated publication, Governing the Commons, challenged the prevailing wisdom that the best way to manage something is to privatize it or regulate it.

I haven’t read any of her works, in fact I haven’t heard of hear until this morning. However, the reasoning of the Nobel committee reminded me of probably one of the top five scientific papers I have read in my university career, at a very unlikely place. I once took a course entitled “ecological engineering”, given by Allan Werker who now seems to be at a company called anoxkaldnes. In this course we spent quite some time reading and discussing the paper “The Tragedy of the Commons” by Garrett Hardin. Back then this article sparked some of the most vivid discussions I have ever had in an engineering class, including some interesting modelling exercises with BerkeleyMadonna.

Right Livelihood Award

On a related note and since it seems to be award-season, I want to point out that the right livelihood awards 2009 have been awarded to David Suzuki, René Ngongo, Alyn Ware, and Catherine Hamlin.

David Suzuki is an interesting person, has great speaking and writing skills, and has undertaken a lot of action in his life to make the world a better place. His autobiographyis a remarkable read.

Even more remarkable is a speech given by his daughter to the assembly of the UN. She’s known in YouTube as the “Girl who Silenced the UN for 5 Minutes”:

I promise to continue to post on correlation examples really soon!

Written by Claus

October 13th, 2009 at 10:34 am

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  1. Der Preis der verliehen wird ist prize. Der Preis den man zahlt ist prics. 😉 Bis nächste Woche.


    24 Oct 09 at 6:36 pm

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