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The Daily Show w/Jon Stewart: Fright Club

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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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