This year there are five female recipients of a Nobel Prize, which sets a record for female winners throughout the Prize’s 114 year long history. Who are the winners?
1. Elinor Ostrom, 76, an American political scientist from Indiana University who made history by being the first woman to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for her research that examines how common resources–such as forests, fisheries, oil fields, and grazing lands–are more efficiently managed by local communities than by private corporations or the government. She was awarded it alongside fellow American Oliver Williamson for their work in economic governance.
Ostrom was constantly discouraged from being an economist because she was a woman, but her accomplishment in being the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Economics shows that she broke through a glass ceiling. It serves as an inspiring reminder that girls and women can succeed in historically male dominated fields.
2. Elizabeth H. Blackburn, 60, and Carol W. Greider, 48, who were both awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Jack W. Szostak for their work in figuring out how chromosomes protect themselves from degrading during cell division. Blackburn is American and Greider has dual US-Australian citizenship.
3. Ada Yonath, 70, an Israeli, who shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Americans Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas Steitz for their work on atom-by-atom description of ribosomes.
4. Herta Mueller, 56, a Romanian-born German writer who won the Nobel Prize in literature for her writings on life behind the Iron Curtain.
Ever since the conception of the Nobel Prizes, only 40 women around the world have been awarded them. It’s excellent that women are finally getting more recognition for the significant work that they’ve done. Congratulations to all of them!