Nobel Prize(noun): an international prize given each year for achievements in literature, physics, chemistry, medicine, economics, and world peace.
Noble(adjective): having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.
ALFRED NOBEL I833-1896
As of 2020, 57 women have won the Nobel Prize, and a total of 58 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to women (Marie Curie won it twice, once in physics and once in chemistry). While a complete count as of 2020 has not been completed yet, it was counted in 2019 that Nobel Prizes had been awarded to a total of 866 men, 53 women, and 24 organizations (counting those who won multiple prizes only once each).
The distribution of female Nobel Laureates is as follows:
seventeen women have won the Nobel Peace Prize (12.6% of 107 individuals and 28 organizations in total),
sixteen have won the Nobel Prize in Literature (13.7% of 117 laureates in total),
twelve have won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (5.4% of 222 laureates in total),
seven have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (3.8% of 186 laureates in total),
four have won the Nobel Prize in Physics (1.9% of 216 laureates in total),
and two, Elinor Ostrom and Esther Duflo, have won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2.4% of 84 laureates in total).
The first woman to win a Nobel Prize was Marie Curie, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 with her husband, Pierre Curie, and Henri Becquerel. Curie is also the only woman to have won multiple Nobel Prizes; in 1911, she won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Curie's daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935, making the two the only mother-daughter pair to have won Nobel Prizes.
The most Nobel Prizes awarded to women in a single year was in 2009, when five women became laureates in four categories.
The most recent women to be awarded a Nobel Prize were Louise Glück in Literature, Andrea M. Ghez in Physics, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna in Chemistry (2020), Esther Duflo in Economics (2019), Donna Strickland in Physics, Frances Arnold in Chemistry, Nadia Murad for Peace, and Olga Tokarczuk in Literature (2018).
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The Nobel Prize in Physics (4)
2020 Andrea Ghez: “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the center of our galaxy”
2018 Donna Strickland: “for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics”; “for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses.”
1963 Maria Goeppert Mayer: “for their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure”
1903 Marie Curie, née Sklodowska: “in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel”
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry (7)
2020 Emmanuelle Charpentier: “for the development of a method for genome editing”
2020 Jennifer A. Doudna: “for the development of a method for genome editing”
2018 Frances H. Arnold: “for the directed evolution of enzymes”
2009 Ada E. Yonath: “for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome”
1964 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin: “for her determinations by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances”
1935 Irène Joliot-Curie: “in recognition of their synthesis of new radioactive elements”
1911 Marie Curie, née Sklodowska: “in recognition of her services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element”
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (12)
2015 Tu Youyou: “for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria”
2014 May-Britt Moser: “for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain”
2009 Elizabeth H. Blackburn: “for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase”
2009 Carol W. Greider: “for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase”
2008 Françoise Barré-Sinoussi: “for their discovery of human immunodeficiency virus” [HIV]
2004 Linda B. Buck: “for their discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system”
1995 Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard: “for their discoveries concerning the genetic control of early embryonic development”
1988 Gertrude B. Elion: “for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment”
1986 Rita Levi-Montalcini: “for their discoveries of growth factors”
1983 Barbara McClintock: “for her discovery of mobile genetic elements”
1977 Rosalyn Yalow: “for the development of radioimmunoassays of peptide hormones”
1947 Gerty Theresa Cori, née Radnitz: “for their discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen”
The Nobel Prize in Literature (16)
2020 Louise Glück: “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”
2018 Olga Tokarczuk: “for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life”
2015 Svetlana Alexievich: “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time”
2013 Alice Munro: “master of the contemporary short story”
2009 Herta Müller: “who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed”
2007 Doris Lessing: “that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny”
2004 Elfriede Jelinek: “for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society’s clichés and their subjugating power”
1996 Wislawa Szymborska: “for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality”
1993 Toni Morrison: “who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality”
1991 Nadine Gordimer: “who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity”
1966 Nelly Sachs: “for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel’s destiny with touching strength”
1945 Gabriela Mistral: “for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world”
1938 Pearl Buck: “for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces”
1928 Sigrid Undset: “principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages”
1926 Grazia Deledda: “for her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture the life on her native island and with depth and sympathy deal with human problems in general”
1909 Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf: “in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings”
The Nobel Peace Prize (17)
2018 Nadia Murad: “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict”
2014 Malala Yousafzai: “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”
2011 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”
2011 Leymah Gbowee: “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”
2011 Tawakkol Karman: “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”
2004 Wangari Muta Maathai: “for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace”
2003 Shirin Ebadi: “for her efforts for democracy and human rights. She has focused especially on the struggle for the rights of women and children”
1997 Jody Williams: “for their work for the banning and clearing of anti-personnel mines”
1992 Rigoberta Menchú Tum: “in recognition of her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples”
1991 Aung San Suu Kyi: “for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights”
1982 Alva Myrdal
1979 Mother Teresa
1976 Betty Williams
1976 Mairead Corrigan
1946 Emily Greene Balch
1931 Jane Addams
1905 Baroness Bertha Sophie Felicita von Suttner, née Countess Kinsky von Chinic und Tettau
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (2)
2019 Esther Duflo: “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”
2009 Elinor Ostrom: “for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons”
Andrea Mia Ghez (born June 16, 1965) is an American astronomer and professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research focuses on the center of the Milky Way galaxy. In 2020, she became the fourth woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, sharing one half of the prize with Reinhard Genzel (the other half of the prize being awarded to Roger Penrose). The Nobel Prize was awarded to Ghez and Genzel for their discovery of a supermassive compact object, now generally recognized to be a black hole, in the Milky Way's galactic center.
Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier (born 11 December 1968) is a French professor and researcher in microbiology, genetics, and biochemistry. Since 2015, she has been a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin. In 2018, she founded an independent research institute, the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens. In 2020, Charpentier and American biochemist Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for the development of a method for genome editing". This was the first science Nobel ever won by two women alone.
Jennifer Anne Doudna (born February 19, 1964) is an American biochemist known for her pioneering work in CRISPR gene editing, for which she was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Emmanuelle Charpentier. She is the Li Ka Shing Chancellor's Chair Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. She has been an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1997.
Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (30 July 1947) is a French virologist and Director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Division (French: Unité de Régulation des Infections Rétrovirales) and Professor at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France. Born in Paris, France, Barré-Sinoussi performed some of the fundamental work in the identification of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the cause of AIDS. In 2008, Barré-Sinoussi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, together with her former mentor, Luc Montagnier, for their discovery of HIV.
Alice Ann Munro (born 10 July 1931) is a Canadian short story writer who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013. Munro's work has been described as having revolutionized the architecture of short stories, especially in its tendency to move forward and backward in time. Her stories have been said to "embed more than announce, reveal more than parade." Munro's fiction is most often set in her native Huron County in southwestern Ontario. Her stories explore human complexities in an uncomplicated prose style. Munro's writing has established her as "one of our greatest contemporary writers of fiction", or, as Cynthia Ozick put it, "our Chekhov." Munro is the recipient of many literary accolades, including the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature for her work as "master of the contemporary short story", and the 2009 Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work.
Jane Addams (born September 6, 1860 – May 21, 1935) was an American settlement activist, reformer, social worker, sociologist, public administrator, and author. She was an important leader in the history of social work and women's suffrage in the United States and advocated for world peace. She co-founded Chicago's Hull House, one of America's most famous settlement houses. In 1910, Addams was awarded an honorary master of arts degree from Yale University, becoming the first woman to receive an honorary degree from the school. In 1920, she was a co-founder for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In 1931, she became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and is recognized as the founder of the social work profession in the United States.
Esther Duflo, FBA (born 25 October 1972) is a French–American economist who is a professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She shared the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer, "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.” Her research focuses on microeconomic issues in developing countries, including household behavior, education, access to finance, health, and policy evaluation. She has been a driving force in advancing field experiments as an important methodology to discover causal relationships in economics.