Female Nobel Winners Set New Record

Illustration for article titled Female Nobel Winners Set New Record

Four women — Herta Mueller for Literature, Ada Yonath for Chemistry, and Elizabeth Blackburn and Carol Greider for Medicine — have received Nobel Prizes this year, a new record. Of more than 800 Nobel winners, 39 have been women. [Independent]

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Yonath is the first woman in about 45 years to win the Chemistry Nobel. It's interesting to me how pre-1970, every female Nobel winner in the hard sciences (w/ one exception) won for chemistry &/or physics but after 1970, every female winner has been in the life sciences (i.e. physiology or medicine).

I wonder what the demographics for hard science Nobels will look like from here on out, now that many women who benefited from increased access to scientific careers starting in the 1970s are now at a stage in their careers where their work can be considered for the prize (e.g. the work for which Yonath was honored was conducted in the 70s).