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The nobel prize was first introduced in the will drafted by Alfred Nobel in 1895. A majority of Nobel’s fortune were to be set aside as funds for presenting the most prestigious award to outstanding achievement in the world. The nobel prize consists of several categories. The nobel prize for chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, peace, and later in 1969, economic sciences. Personally, I do agree in the presence of a rising voice for gender diversity being included in the nomination of the nobel prize. The vice chair of the Nobel Foundation has quoted that, “Consider this a request to all our nominators for all the prizes to consider women scientists who have made important contributions. Please.” This is proof that gender diversity being considered heavily. Additionally, the Fields Medal was awarded to a woman only in 2014 since 1901.
Moreover, the Abel Prize has never been awarded to a woman. Also, only one woman has ever won in chemistry. In recent years, as more people become more tech savvy, everyone’s social life has increased to a certain extent. In a society filled with a multitude of cultures, gender diversity is a topic that is being more relevant as time goes by. Hence, if the nobel prizes do not show changes being made in the nomination system, its reputation will suffer. However, part of the reason why women are not mostly nominated is due to the time where many discoveries we unravelled. Not only does the committee have to wait until the discoveries have been verified and validated – before a prize can be given out – there was a larger bias against women back then. There were also simply far too little women scientists 20 or 30 years back.
Furthermore, in the past, women were not chosen to represent such prestigious prizes due to stereotypes. This shows where a large majority of the lack of gender diversity originated from. On the contrary, it is a fact that the committee does not have the freedom to simply decide on the winners. They have to consider the opinions of all the nominators present throughout the entire world. It is not an issue that is simply resolvable by just voicing out. On the other hand, studies show that the systemic biases did not change due to the lack of progress made during the year 2017, where there were no female laureates for 2 years in a row.
Additionally, the Nobel prize rewards research based in the 70s, 80s and early 90s, where gender biasness was more apparent, this means that as time goes by, more women laureates will surface. This is present in the prizes that were given to the younger nominates whereby the gender distribution is more even. Moreover, the vice chair of the Nobel foundation also mentioned that they will increase the effort put in to identify leading women scientists and heavily reconsider on ethnic and geographic diversity. Also, a conference with different prize committees were held in 2017 after the lack of female laureates to tackle the issue. The vice chair also personally hoped that in 5 to 10 years’ time, everything will change for the better.
In conclusion, personally I do agree to a large extent to the presence of a rising voice for Nobel committees to consider gender diversity in addition to work quality. However, there are other pointers such as the fact that the prize awards based in the past, where there was a lack of women scientists. On the other hand, there is also the lack of effort shown based on the absence of a female laureate for 2 consecutive years in 2017.
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