Tag Archives: laureates

Meet Elinor Ostrom: The First Woman to Win the Nobel Prize in Economics

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It is an honor to be the first woman, but I won’t be the last~Elinor Ostrom

Elinor Ostrom, Nobel in Economic Science Laureate

Elinor Ostrom, Nobel in Economic Science Laureate

Elinor Ostrom, the Arthur F. Bentley professor of political science and professor of public and environmental affairs at Indiana University, will receive this year’s Nobel in Economic Science. The announcement was made Monday morning in Stockholm, Sweden. Ostrom is the first woman to win the prize in Economics since it was founded in 1968, and the fifth woman to win a Nobel award this year — a Nobel record.

She will share it with Oliver E. Williamson, who is at the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. The two will share the prize for their separate work on economic governance, organization, cooperation, relationships and nonmarket institutions.

nobel_prize_1Ms. Ostrom’s work focuses on the commons, such as how pools of users manage natural resources as common property. The traditional view is that common ownership results in excessive exploitation of resources — the so-called tragedy of the commons that occurs when fishermen overfish a common pond, for example. The proposed solution is usually to make users bear the external costs of their utilization by privatizing the resource or imposing government regulations such as taxes or quotas.

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Women in Nobel Prize History

Two-Time Nobel Winner and Scientist Marie Curie

Two-Time Nobel Winner and Scientist Marie Curie

The Nobel Prize in various categories has been awarded to women 41 times between 1901 and 2009.

Marie Curie is the only woman to win two Nobel prizes; one in Physics, 1903 and one in Chemistry, 1911. Marie Curie is considered the most famous of all women scientists. In 1903, her discovery of radioactivity earned her the Nobel Prize in physics. In 1911, she won it for chemistry.

Irene Curie was the daughter of Marie Curie. She furthered her mother’s work in radioactivity and won the Nobel Prize in 1935 for discovering that radioactivity could be artificially produced.

A total of 40 women have been honored with a Nobel Prize since 1901, with the latest recipient, Elinor Ostrom, the only woman in the category of Economic Sciences.

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How They Pick Nobel Laureates

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Chairman of Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland

Chairman of Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland

TPM/Rachel Slajda—Much has been made today of the fact that the nomination deadline for the Nobel Peace Prize is Feb. 1 — just 12 days after President Obama took office.

But the winner isn’t selected until much later, usually around mid-September. The Norwegian Nobel Committee, made up of five members appointed by the Norwegian Parliament, makes the decision. Here’s the process, according to the committee’s web site:

Nominators — including members of governments, university professors, past Nobel laureates and members of the International Court of Justice — must make their picks to the committee by Feb. 1. The committee usually receives between 150 and 200 nominations for the Peace Prize, but this year they received a record 205 nominations.

noble_medalsThe committee then holds its first meeting,when members can add their own nominees to the list. They then narrow the list down to between five and 20 candidates.

Those candidates are then reviewed by the Nobel Institute’s director, research director and a team of advisers, usually university professors. Those advisers draw up reports on each candidate, a process that takes a few months, and present those reports to the committee.

And then the committee “embarks on a thorough-going discussion of the most likely candidates.” They sometimes request more information, especially when, like Obama, candidates are involved in current affairs. The committee usually makes its decision by mid-September, but has been known to take until the final meeting in early October.

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Nobel Peace Prize Statistics

Geographical distribution of Peace Prize laureates 1901-2000

Geographical distribution of Peace Prize laureates 1901-2000

nobelchart2During the first century of the Nobel Peace Prize, there were 107 laureates from different parts of the world. Alfred Nobel’s intention was to create an international prize, a wish that was upheld by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. However, it took the committee a long time before it started to look beyond the western world for suitable candidates. Globalisation of the prize was a very slow process. From 1901 to 1975 only four laureates did not come from Western Europe or North America.

To find more interesting historical facts, please visit nobelprizelogo

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