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Female Laureates of Nobel Prize

An article about different female laureates who have been awarded with the prestigious honour


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Janhavi Joshi

3 years ago | 7 min read

In an era where women are fighting for equal rights, and are refusing to be held back in any arena, in an era where women are giving such hard competition to men by giving their prestigious and laureable contribution in even those fields, which nobody ever imagined them to be in; In an era where equality is a dream, no longer between the two sexes, here I am writing my blog on female laureates of Nobel Prize and Prize in Economic Science.

So before we move on towards knowing about the female awardees of the honour, let us know about the Nobel Prize in glance.

Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards, bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural or scientific advances. The will of the Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel established the five Nobel Prizes in 1895. The prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace and Physiology or Medicine were first awarded in 1901. In 1968, Sweden's Central bank, Sveriges Riksbank prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel, which, although not being a Nobel  Prize, has become informally known as 'Nobel Prize in Economics'. The prizes are widely regarded as the most prestigious awards available in the fields of chemistry, physics, economics, literature, peace activism, and physiology or medicine. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Nobel Prize in Physics and the Sveriges Riksbank prize in Economic Sciences, in memory of Alfred Nobel; The Nobel assembly at the Karolinska Institute awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; The Swedish academy grants the Nobel Prize in literature; And the Nobel Peace prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Between 1901 and 2018, the Nobel Prizes and the prizes in Economic Sciences from 1969 onwards, were awarded 590 times to 935 people and organisations. With some receiving the Nobel Prize more than once, this makes a total of 27 organisations and 908 individuals. The prize ceremony takes place in Stockholm, Sweden, where each recipient, known as laureate receives a gold medal, a diploma, and a sum of money that has been decided by the Nobel Founded.

The prize is not awarded posthumously, however if a person is awarded a prize and dies before recieving it, the prize may still be presented. A prize may not be shared among more than three individuals, although the Nobel Prize can be awarded to organisations of more than three people.

Now coming to the female awardees from 1901 to 2018, the Nobel Prize has been awarded 52 times. Out of these, Marie Curie has been the only female to receive it twice, with the 1903  Nobel prize in physics in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel, and then with the 1911 Nobel prize in Chemistry, in recognition of her services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of elements radium and the study of nature and compounds of this remarkable element.

So in total, we have 51 women laureates of the prestigious Nobel prize in different fields. Also Donna Strickland became the first women to receive the Nobel prize in Physics in 55 years, after Marie Curie won it in 1903, and Maria-Goeppert-Mayer in 1963.

The Nobel Prize in Physics

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2018

Donna Strickland

“for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics”

“for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses.”

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1963

Maria Goeppert Mayer

“for their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure”

The Nobel Prize in Physics 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

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018

Frances H. Arnold

“for the directed evolution of enzymes”

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009

Ada E. Yonath

“for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome”

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1964

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin

“for her determinations by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances”

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1935

Irène Joliot-Curie

“in recognition of their synthesis of new radioactive elements”

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 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

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015

Tu Youyou

“for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria”

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014

May-Britt Moser

“for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain”

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009

Elizabeth H. Blackburn

“for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase”

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009

Carol W. Greider

“for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase”

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2008

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

“for their discovery of human immunodeficiency virus”

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2004

Linda B. Buck

“for their discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system”

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1995

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard

“for their discoveries concerning the genetic control of early embryonic development”

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1988

Gertrude B. Elion

“for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment”

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1986

Rita Levi-Montalcini

“for their discoveries of growth factors”

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1983

Barbara McClintock

“for her discovery of mobile genetic elements”

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1977

Rosalyn Yalow

“for the development of radioimmunoassays of peptide hormones”

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1947

Gerty Theresa Cori, née Radnitz

“for their discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen”

The Nobel Prize in Literature

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

Svetlana Alexievich

“for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2013

Alice Munro

“master of the contemporary short story”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2009

Herta Müller

“who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2007

Doris Lessing

“that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 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”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1996

Wislawa Szymborska

“for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1993

Toni Morrison

“who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1991

Nadine Gordimer

“who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1966

Nelly Sachs

“for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel’s destiny with touching strength”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 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”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1938

Pearl Buck

“for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1928

Sigrid Undset

“principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 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”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1909

Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf

“in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings”

The Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Peace Prize 2018

Nadia Murad

“for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict”

The Nobel Peace Prize 2014

Malala Yousafzai

“for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”

The Nobel Peace Prize 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”

The Nobel Peace Prize 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”

The Nobel Peace Prize 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”

The Nobel Peace Prize 2004

Wangari Muta Maathai

“for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace”

The Nobel Peace Prize 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”

The Nobel Peace Prize 1997

Jody Williams

“for their work for the banning and clearing of anti-personnel mines”

The Nobel Peace Prize 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”

The Nobel Peace Prize 1991

Aung San Suu Kyi 

“for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights”

The Nobel Peace Prize 1982

Alva Myrdal

The Nobel Peace Prize 1979

Mother Teresa

The Nobel Peace Prize 1976

Betty Williams

The Nobel Peace Prize 1976

Mairead Corrigan

The Nobel Peace Prize 1946

Emily Greene Balch

The Nobel Peace Prize 1931

Jane Addams

The Nobel Peace Prize 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

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2009

Elinor Ostrom

“for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons”

EXTRA KNOWLEDGE:-

➤Do you know who all have won the Nobel prize in Physics in 2018?

On october 2, 2018, the Nobel prize was shared among the three, Arthur Ashkin of the US, Gerard Mourou of France and Donna Strickland of Canada. The trio of laureates won the prize for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics. Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland were awarded jointly. The two of them paved the way towards the shortest and most intense laser pulses created by humankind. The technique they developed opened up new areas of research and led to broad industrial and medical applications.

➤What is CPA?

Their innovative technique is known as chirped pulse amplification(CPA). A standard for high intensity lasers, including the ultra sharp beams, and is used in corrective eye surgeries.


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