The Nobel Prize is one of the most prestigious awards in the world. Whether it’s Literature, Physics, or Peace, the Nobel Prize recognizes the top individuals within a discipline in a single year. It’s the MVP Award for Science, Literature, and nonviolent commitment.
The Nobel Prize is not without reproach however (for example Mahatma Gandhi never received the award for Peace but the likes of Yasser Arafat and Henry Kissinger have). Still the consecutive omission of one half of the world’s population in Physics is a raise for concern. Currently averaging an award every 50+ years, women have been left out of the Physics prize more often then not.
“The first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics was the physicist and chemist Marie Curie in 1903. The next winner was the theoretical physicist Maria Goeppert Mayer in 1963” making it 53 years and running since a woman has received the award. Astrophysicist Dr Katherine J Mack is a constant critic of the lack of gender representation for the award, especially since women make up 20% of graduating physics major. She does concede a bit when stating that “the good news is that the average age of Nobel Prize winners in Physics is 55, so I have plenty of time to discover something amazing.”
Every winner of the prize is deserving in some fashion. Statistically the Physics award should see more female winners as we move forward. For now the numbers are horrendous, but they do have the possibility of changing. Only time will tell, however I am surprised that for some reason only men continue to make such ground breaking discovers. How odd.