"The Nobel Prize: Where Are the Women?"

In more than a century, only 17 women have been awarded the Nobel Prize in a science category. Only two have been awarded the prize in physics. Marie Curie became the first female Nobel laureate in 1903, a prize in physics she shared with her husband Pierre and Henri Becquerel for their revolutionary work in understanding radioactivity.

Curie was awarded a second Nobel Prize in 1911, this time in chemistry, for her discovery of the radioactive elements radium and polonium. Curie’s daughter Irene Joliot-Curie is one of the other three women to garner the prize in chemistry. That’s four Nobel laureates in chemistry ever; that’s four women out of 163. The Nobel Prize is awarded in three science categories: physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine. In 2013 only one woman win this prize in science, and 2012 each science prize was shared by a pair of researchers, for a total of six new science Nobel laureates. Among this year’s six laureates in these categories is the usual number of women: zero. The last time a Nobel Prize in science was awarded to a woman was in 2015 (Tu Youyou), the 2009 was when a record number of three women scientists became Nobel laureates.

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