By Nektaria Riso
Out of the 204 winners of the Nobel prize for Physics, how many were women?
Oh, come on, take a guess.
At least half? No, that is a bit optimistic, try again! One third? One fourth? Come on, 10?
Actually, only two women have ever won the Nobel prize for Physics: the renowned Marie Curie, in 1903, and Maria Goeppert Mayer, for her nuclear shell model, in 1963. Since Mayer’s win 50 years ago, no other woman has won.
Although many women have been deserving of such a prize, Vera Rubin - astronomer, dark matter pioneer, and women’s advocate - sat at the top of the list until her death in 2016. For those who don’t know, Nobel prizes cannot be rewarded posthumously, so Rubin will never win. Ever.
Meet our Scientista Spotlights -- current-day women in STEM and women from science history -- and find your role model! Read opinion editorials and history pieces to get additional inspiration.
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