Nobel prizes: only 49 times awarded to women in 115 years
Sveva Avveduto, Ilaria Di Tullio, members of the GENERA consortium write about their reflections on this year's Nobel prize awards.
Since 1901, when the Nobel Prize Ceremony was established in honour of the Swedish inventor of the dynamite Alfred Nobel, 579 prizes have been awarded to 911 candidates, with only 49 to women scientists: two for physical science (Marie Sklodowska Curie and Maria Goeppert Mayer), four for chemistry, 12 for medicine/physiology, 14 for literature and 16 for Peace. This gender disparity is shown in Figure 1.
In 2016 Nobel Prize has been awarded exceptionally to four women, 3 for science and 1 for literature.
This year the Nobel Prize in physics has been jointly awarded to David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz, for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter. Their achievement was described by Thors Hans Hansson, a member of the Nobel Committee for Physics as explaining a world far away by illustrating the mysterious theory of ‘topological phase transitions’ using the metaphors of a cinnamon roll, a bagel, and a pretzel.
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