Women Overlooked in the 2011 Nobel Prizes in Science

For Immediate Release

Contact: Karla Shepard Rubinger, Executive Director, (914) 740-2100, ext. 2153, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Women Overlooked in the 2011 Nobel Prizes in Science

October 12, 2011, New Rochelle, NY—The 2011 Nobel Prize announcements are now complete and the Rosalind Franklin Society is dismayed that all of the awards in science were again given only to men. The Society urges the Nobel Prize committee to more carefully asses the important work of female scientists worldwide in their annual prize selection.

The Noble Prizes in science include Physics, Chemistry and Medicine or Physiology. Since the awards began in 1901, a total of 310 awards have been given in these fields, to 551 individuals, with only 16 (or 2.9%) awarded to female scientists. Three are members of the Rosalind Franklin Society Board: Dr. Linda B. Buck (2004), Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn (2009), and Dr. Carol W. Greider (2009).

Other Nobel Prizes awarded this month include the Nobel Peace Prize which was awarded to three women, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkul Karman, "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work". The 2011 Economic Science Prize was awarded to two men, Thomas J. Sargent and Christopher A. Sims. The 2011 Prize in Literature was awarded to Tomas Tranströmer.

A review of other eminent science prizes this year shows a respectable representation of women compared to years past. One of the three Lasker Awards was given to a woman: Tu Youou, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences. One of the three Albany Medical Center Prizes was awarded to a woman: Elaine Fuchs, PhD, The Rockefeller University (and Rosalind Franklin Society Board Member). Of the six Gruber Prizes in the science categories, one was awarded to a female scientist: Huda Zoghbi, MD, Baylor College of Medicine. In addition, the Gruber Foundation awards an annual Gruber Prize for Women’s Rights.

The prestigious bi-annual Kavli Prizes (established in 2008) were awarded to eight men in scientific research in 2010. Nominations are now open for the 2012 prize. The Rosalind Franklin Society encourages the nomination of qualified women in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience.

For the future of mankind, we cannot afford to overlook women in science.

Rosalind Franklin Society
140 Huguenot St., 3rd Floor
New Rochelle, NY 10801-5215
Phone: (914) 740-2100 Fax: (914) 740-2101
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