miércoles, 21 de agosto de 2013

Women Nobel Prize Winners: 16 Women Who Defied Odds To Win Science's Top Award (PHOTOS)

08/18/2013

Marie Sklodowska-Curie. Unknown photographer; Wikimedia Commons

Marie Curie, née Sklodowska Physics 1903, Chemistry 1911
Marie Curie, née Sklodowska (1867-1934) became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize when she was awarded the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics along with her husband Pierre Curie and Antoine Henri Becquerel "for their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure."

Curie became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the first woman to win an unshared Nobel Prize in the sciences and the first woman to win two Nobel Prizes — an achievement that no woman has yet to duplicate — when she was awarded the 1911 Nobel Prize for Chemistry "in recognition of her services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements of radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element." 

Women make up a bit more than half of the world’s population, yet even in the most developed countries, men hold the lion's share of jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. What's more, men take home most of the prestigious scientific awards. That includes the Nobel Prizes, widely considered the ultimate mark of scientific achievement. 

Of the 357 people awarded a Nobel in the science categories — Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Economic Sciences — only 16 have been women (see slideshow below).

What accounts for this discrepancy?
"This low representation is likely due to there unfortunately being very few women scientists in the first half of the 20th Century," Dr. Hannah Dougdale and Dr. Julia Schroeder, two researchers at the University of Sheffield who have studied barriers for women in the sciences, told The Huffington Post in an email.

Until the 1970s the number of women who received Nobel Prizes was roughly proportional to the number of women doing scientific research — a small group of women winning a small number of Nobels. But as the number of women in science has increased over the past 40 years, women Nobelists remain the exception, according to an article in Significance magazine by Stephanie Kovalchik, a statistician at the National Cancer Institute.

"The evidence suggests that, in the first half of the 20th Century, qualified women were struggling to enter the scientific profession but those who broke through were as valued as their male colleagues," Kovalchik wrote. Today, that may no longer be the case.

Mary Ann Liebert
, the founder of the Rosalind Franklin Society, a group committed to securing Nobel nominations for women, told NPR that she thinks women who deserve prizes are often overlooked -- because nobody steps forward to nominate them.

"Men tend not to nominate them, and women don't nominate themselves," Liebert told NPR. "Women scientists have to be more assertive in seeking nominations. I think that's a major issue. And I think men have to put women's names into nomination, too."

Dugdale and Schroeder also found that women appear as invited speakers at conferences less often than men, leading them to conclude that "low visibility of high-quality female scientists potentially means that their work does not attract the attention that it deserves, and importantly it has the effect that scientists and students are exposed to fewer female role models."

Check out our list below of the 16 women who have won a Nobel Prize in science.

Women Nobel Prize Laureates in the Sciences
Iréne Joliot-Curie — Chemistry 1935. Iréne Joliot-Curie (1897-1956) was awarded the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with her husband Frédéric Joliot, "in recognition of their synthesis of new radioactive elements." Joliot-Curie was the daughter of two-time Nobel Prize laureate Marie Curie née Sklodowska and Nobel Prize laureate Pierre Curie.

Gerty Cori, née Radnitz — Physiology or Medicine 1947. Gerty Cori, née Radnitz was awarded one half of the 1947 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with her husband Carl Ferdinand Cori "for their discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen." The other half of the prize went to Bernando Alberto Houssay "for his discovery of the part played by the hormone of the anterior pituitary lobe in the metabolism of sugar."

Maria Goeppert Mayer - Physics 1963. Maria Goeppert Mayer (1906-1972) shared half of the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics with J. Hans D. Jensen, "for their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure." Eugene Paul Wigner received the other half of the prize "for his contributions to the theory of the atomic nucleus and the elementary particles, particularly through the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles."

Dorothy Hodgkin — Chemistry 1964. Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994) was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Chemistry " for her determinations by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances."

Rosalyn Yalow — Physiology or Medicine 1977. Rosalyn Yalow (1921-2011) was awarded one half of the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for the development of radioimmunoassays of peptide hormones." Andrew Schally and Roger Guillemin split the other half of the prize "for their discoveries concerning the peptide hormone production of the brain."

Barbara McClintock — Physiology or Medicine 1977. Barbara McClintock (b.1902) was awarded the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for her discovery of mobile genetic elements." McClintock is the only woman to win an unshared Nobel Prize in the field of Physiology or Medicine.

Rita Levi-Montalcini — Physiology or Medicine 1986. Rita Levi-Montalcini (1909-2012) was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Stanley Cohen "for their discoveries of growth factors."

Gertrude Elion — Physiology or Medicine 1988. Gertrude Elion (1918-1999) was awarded the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Sir James Black and George Hitchings "for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment."

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard — Physiology or Medicine 1995. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (b.1942) was awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Edward Lewis and Eric Wieschaus "for their discoveries concerning the genetic control of early embryonic development."

Linda Buck — Physiology or Medicine 2004. Linda Buck (b. 1947) was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Richard Axel "for their discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system."

Françoise Barre-Sinoussi — Physiology or Medicine 2008. Françoise Barre-Sinoussi was awarded half of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Luc Montagnier "for their discovery of human immunodeficiency virus." Harald zur Hausen won the other half of the prize "for his discovery of human papilloma viruses causing cervical cancer."

Elizabeth Blackburn — Physiology or Medicine 2009. Elizabeth Blackburn (b.1948) was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Carol Greider and Jack Szostak "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase." The 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was the first Noble Prize in the sciences awarded to more than one woman. The year 2009 was also the first time more than one woman was awarded a Nobel Prize in the sciences -- Blackburn shared the Physiology or Medicine prize with Carol Greider, Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, and Ada Yonath won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Carol Greider — Physiology or Medicine 2009. Carol Greider (b.1961) was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack Szostak "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase." The 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was the first Noble Prize in the sciences awarded to more than one woman. The year 2009 was also the first time more than one woman was awarded a Nobel Prize in the sciences -- Greider shared the Physiology or Medicine prize with Elizabeth Blackburn, Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, and Ada Yonath won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Elinor Ostrom — Economic Sciences 2009. Elinor Ostrom (1933-2012) was awarded one half of the 1933 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences "for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons." Oliver Williamson won the other half of the prize "for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm." The year 2009 was also the first time more than one woman was awarded a Nobel Prize in the sciences. Other female prize winners that year were: Elizabeth Blackburn and Carol Greider for Physiology or Medicine, and Ada Yonath for Chemistry.

Ada Yonath — Chemistry 2009. Ada Yonath (b. 1939) was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas Steitz "for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome." The year 2009 was also the first time more than one woman was awarded a Nobel Prize in the sciences. Other female prize winners that year were: Elizabeth Blackburn and Carol Greider for Physiology or Medicine, and Elinor Ostrom for Economic Sciences.

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