The Nobel Prize was first awarded in 1901. Four women have been honored with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. As we wrap up Women’s History Month, let’s take a look at those women and their award-winning accomplishments.
In 1911, the prize was awarded to nuclear chemist Marie Curie “in recognition of her services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element.”
In 1935, the prize was awarded to Irene Joliot-Curie “in recognition of their synthesis of new radioactive elements.”
In 1964, the prize was awarded to Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin “for her determinations by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances.”
In 2009, the prize went to Ada E. Yonath “for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome.”
In addition to the Nobel, the L’Oreal Unesco Awards for Women in Science have been awarded to brilliant female scientists.
In chemistry, the award was granted to Xie Yi and Molly S. Shoichet in 2015, and Faiza Al-Harafi in 2011.
Chinese chemist Xie Yi is a professor at the University of Science and Technology of China, and a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Molly Shoichet is a Canadian biomedical engineer, awarded for her work in tissue engineering. She is the Province of Ontario’s First Chief Scientist.
Kuwaiti chemist Faiza Al-Kharafi was the first woman to head a major university in the Middle East as president of Kuwait University in the 90s. She received her award for her work with corrosion.
There are girls and young women studying in chemistry labs across our nation with the potential to add their name to these lists. The next great chemical innovation could be theirs!