There have been some remarkably productive scientists who, in the course of their careers managed to come up with not just one but many path breaking findings, each of which could have won a Nobel prize. Yet very few of them actually won more than one Nobel prize in science. Marie Curie won a Physics Nobel, and a Chemistry Nobel seven years later. Bardeen won two Physics prizes, while Fred Sanger won two chemistry prizes, the first in the fifties for work on the structure of insulin, and the next in 1980, for his work on DNA sequencing). Linus Pauling won two, one for Chemistry and another for peace!). Here are some people who did win a Nobel, but only once. They perhaps should have won another for some other equally (if not more) epoch work.
Albert Einstien, the obvious name on the list, for the theory of relativity. Relativity at that time was so controversial that the Nobel committee didn’t recognize him for that. They gave him a Nobel for discovering the photoelectric effect, another seminal (but perhaps less impressive) discovery.
Linus Pauling (yes, he could have had three Nobels!), for postulating molecular origins of diseases. Or yet another one (a fourth), for discovering alpha helices (any one studying protein structure will tell you how elementary and important that is). One of the greatest scientists of the last century for sure.
Francis Crick, another phenomenal scientist, whose explanation of the genetic code being a triplet code (with three DNA molecules coding for one amino acid, in a degenerate code) revolutionized chemistry and biology and our very understanding of the basic molecules of life. Crick changed his area of research every ten years or so, and contributed phenomenally to anything he studied. His last efforts (before he died) he was studying the nature of consciousness.
Sydney Brenner (who won the Nobel in medicine for his genetics work on organ development and programmed cell death) could have shared one with Crick for working out the genetic code with him.
This is just the starting of the list. Can you think of a few more names that could easily make this list? (And include Economics in this list too).