A small explanatory footnote to @anna's fine answer, which emphasizes the primacy of the LSS discovery, a major game-changer: it upended our understanding of particle interactions forever. The professionals at HSM would have more generic insights.
The 1995 NP awarded to Perl & Reines was a bit special. (Cowan had died in 1974.) The background is that Perl was overdue to get it for the τ lepton, whose Discovery was both surprising and important. Surprising, since no theorist had "ordered" it (unlike Reines' neutrino), and Perl had to thoughtfully and heroically fight disbelief and build a solid case for it. Important, since, once theorists accepted it, the prior anomaly cancellation of the SM (Bouchiat, Iliopoulos & Meyer 1972) argument all but dictated a full 3rd generation and the future discovery of the b, the t and the $\nu_\tau$. So, like the LSS Discovery, it Really was a game-changer.
At that point, the Reines-Cowan observation was in danger of being scandalously neglected, given the fact that, even though their (Pauli's, really) neutrino had been accepted indirectly, and figured in the sun burning, nuclear physics, weapons and reactors, etc, a direct observation appeared out of reach until their experiment. F & R made observation a reality, and initiated neutrino physics, experimentally speaking.
But it did not change anyone's mind on anything, I suspect. (I know could make people scream, but, analogously, few theorists changed their mind on anything upon the discovery of the W and Z; of course these had to be there. Note that NP also emphasized the accelerator, field-opening aspect of the observation.)
These are fine social/tribal points, and historians of science discuss them endlessly, but they provide background to your question and any presumption that the NP recognizes strictly "I was first" discoveries like a school prize. (But I'd be opening a Pandora's box if I mused about Zweig or Bjorken, or the late Dyson..)
This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2020-11-30 15:25 (UTC), posted by SE-user Cosmas Zachos