STOCKHOLM — After cleaning up in the Nobel science prizes, the United States on Friday scored another coup: the peace prize for a president less than nine months in office.
At a time when some had begun to question how long America's pre-eminence in science and diplomacy could last, nine of the 11 nominees who won or shared this year's five prizes handed out so far are American.
On Monday, the economics prize will be announced, and Americans are the favorites.
The scientists were recognized for work that led to breakthroughs in cancer therapies and antibiotics, and brought the world digital photography and high-speed Internet. Obama won for his mission to rid the world of nuclear arms and to bridge the divide with the Muslim world.
The chief of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences sees two big reasons for the U.S. dominance in science: money and ambition.
Gunnar Oquist, permanent secretary of the group that picks the chemistry and physics winners, cited a U.S. willingness to pour money into research and an eye for the big breakthrough, as opposed to incremental steps forward.
"In Europe, they are focusing on high production with good enough quality," he told the Associated Press on Wednesday.