A lot of folks feel the Nobel Prize isn’t worth anything after Obama won his pre-emptive Peace Prize and Bob Dylan…well, you know. But a cool infographic from the Hindustan Times points out something else we should find pretty worrying about the Nobel Prize: it’s just for men.
Well, for all practical purposes. The infographic takes a look at the people and organisations that have won Nobel Prizes over the years, and it shows that in each year for the last 100 years, there’s never been one when the committee has awarded more women than men. Not even close.
Take this year, for example. This year, not one single woman won a Nobel Prize. Same as last year. In 2015, two women won Nobel Prizes (in literature and chemistry), as opposed to the eight men and one organisation.
As the infographic says, this means that in the last three years, two winners have been organisations, two winners have been women, and the other 29 Nobel laureates have all been men, which is 6 percent, 6 percent and 88 percent respectively. Since 1901, the Nobel Prize has been awarded to women 5 percent of the time, and to men a comprehensive 92 percent of the time.
It’s also telling to see how Nobel Prize winners are nominated for the prize: eligible nominators also include “cabinet members/ministers of sovereign states as well as current heads of states”, and previous Nobel Prize winners. So this could likely be bias perpetuating itself: in 2017, there are only 15 female world leaders, of which eight are their country’s first female leaders. Plus, as the infographic points out, since 1901, the Nobel Prize has been awarded 92 percent of the time to men. It seems likely that the people who nominate and select Nobel Prize winners might be overwhelmingly male too, and more likely to recognise excellence in other men.
You can see the full infographic by the Hindustan Times here.