Friday, October 31, 2008

List of female Nobel Laureates

The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Karolinska Institute, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee to individuals who make outstanding contributions in the fields of chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine.[1] They were established by the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel, which dictates that the awards should be administered by the Nobel Foundation. Another prize, the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, was established in 1968 by the Sveriges Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, for contributors to the field of economics.[2] Each prize is awarded by a separate committee; the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, and Economics, the Karolinska Institute awards the Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee awards the Prize in Peace.[3] Each recipient receives a medal, a diploma and a cash prize that has varied throughout the years.[2] In 1901, the winners of the first Nobel Prizes were given 150,782 SEK, which is equal to 7,731,004 SEK in December 2007. In 2008, the winners were awarded a prize amount of 10,000,000 SEK.[4] The awards are presented in Stockholm in an annual ceremony on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.[5]

As of 2008, there have been 754 male Nobel laureates and 35 female laureates.[6] The first woman to win a Nobel Prize was Marie Curie, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 with her husband, Pierre Curie, and Henri Becquerel.[7][8] Curie is also the only woman to have won multiple Nobel Prizes; in 1911, she won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Curie's daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935, making the two the only mother-daughter pair to have won Nobel Prizes.[6] Twelve women have won the Nobel Peace Prize, more than any other category.[7] Although a woman has won each of the five Nobel Prizes, all Nobel laureates in Economics have been men.[9]


Year ↓ Image Laureate ↓ Country ↓ Category ↓ Rationale ↓
1903 Curie, MarieMarie Curie France Physics "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel"[8]
1905 von Suttner, BerthaBertha von Suttner Austria–Hungary Peace Honorary President of Permanent International Peace Bureau, Berne, Switzerland; Author of Lay Down Your Arms.[10]
1909 Lagerlöf, SelmaSelma Lagerlöf Sweden Literature "in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings"[11]
1911 Curie, MarieMarie Curie France Chemistry "for her discovery of radium and polonium"[12]
1926 Deledda, GraziaGrazia Deledda Italy Literature "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"[13]
1928 Undset, SigridSigrid Undset Norway Literature "principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages"[14]
1931 Addams, JaneJane Addams United States Peace Sociologist; International President, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.[15]
Joliot-Curie, IrèneIrène Joliot-Curie France Chemistry "for their synthesis of new radioactive elements"[16]
1938 Buck, Pearl S.Pearl S. Buck United States Literature "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces"[17]
1945 Mistral, GabrielaGabriela Mistral Chile Literature "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"[18]
Balch, Emily GreeneEmily Greene Balch United States Peace Formerly Professor of History and Sociology; Honorary International President, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.[19]
1947 Cori, Gerty TheresaGerty Theresa Cori United States Physiology or Medicine "for their discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen"[20]
Goeppert-Mayer, MariaMaria Goeppert-Mayer United States Physics "for their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure"[21]
Hodgkin, Dorothy CrowfootDorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin United Kingdom Chemistry "for her determinations by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances"[22]
Sachs, NellyNelly Sachs United States Literature "for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel's destiny with touching strength"[23]
Williams, BettyBetty Williams United Kingdom Peace Founder of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement (later renamed Community of Peace People)[24]
Corrigan, MaireadMairead Corrigan United Kingdom Peace Founder of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement (later renamed Community of Peace People)[24]
Yalow, RosalynRosalyn Yalow United States Physiology or Medicine "for the development of radioimmunoassays of peptide hormones"[25]
1979 Teresa, MotherMother Teresa India Peace Leader of Missionaries of Charity, Calcutta.[26]
Myrdal, AlvaAlva Myrdal Sweden Peace Former Cabinet Minister; Diplomat; Writer.[27]
McClintock, BarbaraBarbara McClintock United States Physiology or Medicine "for her discovery of mobile genetic elements"[28]
1986 Levi-Montalcini, RitaRita Levi-Montalcini Italy,
United States
Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of growth factors"[29]
Elion, Gertrude B.Gertrude B. Elion United States Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment"[30]
Gordimer, NadineNadine Gordimer South Africa Literature "who through her magnificent epic writing has - in the words of Alfred Nobel - been of very great benefit to humanity"[31]
1991 Suu Kyi, Aung SanAung San Suu Kyi Burma Peace "for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights"[32]
1992 Menchú, RigobertaRigoberta Menchú Guatemala Peace "in recognition of her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples"[33]
Morrison, ToniToni Morrison United States Literature "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality"[34]
1995 Nüsslein-Volhard, ChristianeChristiane Nüsslein-Volhard Germany Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the genetic control of early embryonic development"[35]
1996 Szymborska, WisławaWisława Szymborska Poland Literature "for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality"[36]
1997 Williams, JodyJody Williams United States Peace "for their work for the banning and clearing of anti-personnel mines"[37]
2003 Ebadi, ShirinShirin Ebadi Iran Peace "for her efforts for democracy and human rights. She has focused especially on the struggle for the rights of women and children"[38]
2004 Jelinek, ElfriedeElfriede Jelinek Austria Literature "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"[39]
Maathai, WangariWangari Maathai Kenya Peace "for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace"[40]
Buck, Linda B.Linda B. Buck United States Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system"[41]
2007 Lessing, DorisDoris Lessing United Kingdom Literature "that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny"[42]
Barré-Sinoussi, FrançoiseFrançoise Barré-Sinoussi France Physiology or Medicine "for their discovery of human immunodeficiency virus"

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