2009 Nobels: Break or Breakthrough for Women?

Article from 2009

“The first Nobel Prizes were awarded in 1901. But this is the first year that more than one woman has been chosen as a science laureate. Indeed, the four distinguished scientists in the class of 2009—Elizabeth Blackburn and Carol Greider in physiology or medicine, Ada Yonath in chemistry, and Elinor Ostrom in economics—raise the overall tally for women by 31%. But in absolute numbers, these 17 women scientists represent only 2.8% of the membership of this exclusive club.

What will it take to boost those numbers? This year’s awardees (Science, 9 October, p. 212; 16 October, p. 346) agreed to tackle that question in a telephone roundtable with Jeffrey Mervis of Science magazine and Kate Travis of Science Careers. Here is an edited version of what they had to say.”

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