In an interview with Walla website, Prof. Aumann explained why so many Jews are recipients of the prize.
“This is a prize that is more or less given to those living in the west. Even though the west are only a quarter of the world’s population, the percentage of Jews living there are very high.”
He says Jews have made considerable contribution to science going back many generations. “In Jewish culture, Torah study was the supreme value. ”There was nothing more coveted than that over centuries and millennia. The average man always tried to find a Torah scholar to marry to his daughters. This phenomenon didn’t exist in any other culture. Intellectual achievement was the most important thing to a Jew and it spread to the sciences.”
He says that most Jews have received their Nobel prizes in the sciences, simply because there are more prizes in these fields. “Our representation in all the prizes is not bad, I think it is because of our drive for intellectualization. I see no reason for it to stop. This isn’t a matter of the last few decades but has been going on since the Nobel prize was founded.”
When asked how getting the Nobel Prize affected his life, Prof. Aumann said that he wants to work but is often bothered. “You asked me to come and speak about the Nobel prize. A considerable amount of my time is devoted to speaking about my Nobel prize and that of others,” he accused in good humor. He concluded by saying that after the interview, he will do a little work, have lunch and then study Talmud together with his grandson.