It's Nobel Prize season, and everyone has their picks for which chemists might get a phone call from Sweden. All the names I've seen are of accomplished people who've done excellent, influential work. There's a problem with all these lists, though: I haven't seen a single woman on any of them. Not a damn one.1 Also notable: a general lack of brown/black people of either gender. What gives? Chemistry is not solely the domain of white and Asian men.
Folks on Twittter have been passing around the Slate article about the 50-year drought of female laureates in physics, but I think it's worth noting that the story is hardly any better in chemistry. I counted four women among the chemistry Nobel laureates: Marie Curie (1911), Irene Joliot-Curie (1935), Dorothy Hodgkin (1964), and Ada Yonath (2009). Did I miss any? I really hope so. Four is a pitiful number.
Are women really not doing Nobel-worthy work? Or do we not recognize their work with the same prestige?
Do we only recognize the super-women? Those who aren't just better, but leagues better, like Curie and Goeppert-Mayer?
So, with a few more hours to go, can we think of a few women who should be on the Nobel shortlist?
Update: I missed C&EN's list, but it also doesn't have any women. Still bummed.
1: Admittedly, I didn't check the much longer list of previous predictions from Everyday Science. I may have overlooked somebody.