A Nobel science first: More than one woman winner, no man

A Nobel science first: More than one woman winner, no man
This Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 file combo image shows Emmanuelle Charpentier, left, and Jennifer Doudna, both speaking at the National Academy of Sciences international summit on the safety and ethics of human gene editing, in Washington. The 2020 Nobel Prize for chemistry has been awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna "for the development of a method for genome editing." A panel at the Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm made the announcement Wednesday Oct. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Wednesday's Nobel Prize in chemistry was a historic first for women.

It was the first time a Nobel science was given to more than one woman, but no men, in a specific category. This has happened 169 times for multiple men and no women in a specific category since the prizes were awarded starting in 1901.

In the 120 years of Nobel prizes in medicine, physics and chemistry, prizes were awarded 599 times to men and 23 times to women. The prize can be split as many as three ways or given to two or just one person. Some people, like chemistry prize for developing the CRISPR method of genome editing.

In 1911, Marie Curie won the chemistry by herself for the discovery of radium and polonium.

In 1964, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin was the sole chemistry winner for using x-rays to understand important biochemical substances. In 1983, Barbara McClintock won the Nobel for medicine by herself for the discovery of mobile genetic elements.

Women have won the most prizes in medicine with 12, seven in chemistry and four in physics.

"For too long, many many discoveries made by women have been underplayed and they have simply not been recognized,'' American Chemistry Society President Luis Echegoyen, a professor at the University of Texas El Paso. "The under representation of in science has been too clear.''

© 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Citation: A Nobel science first: More than one woman winner, no man (2020, October 7) retrieved 2 December 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2020-10-nobel-science-woman-winner.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Timid steps forward for women in Nobel man's world


Feedback to editors