Oct 5, 2017

3% of science Nobels go to women. And it's not just a gender problem

The Nobel Prizes in chemistry, physics, and physiology or medicine were awarded this week. All 9 recipients were white, 7 were from the U.S., and all of them were men. This graphic shows all Nobel prizes awarded for science or economic science, by gender and awardee's country.

Data: Nobelprize.org; Note: 'Other' includes 7 countries with 1 prize and 18 recipients with mixed backgrounds; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

The lack of diversity is a larger trend seen across all Nobel laureates, but it's particularly prevalent in the sciences. Science as a whole is gradually becoming more diverse, but many women and people of color still face harassment in the lab, and those who have received science's highest prize remain a homogenous group.

The numbers: As of Wednesday, 739 Nobel Prizes have been awarded in the sciences (since 1901) and economic sciences (since 1968). Only 20 have gone to women. W. Arthur Lewis, who won for his work on economics in 1979, is the only black recipient, and Tu Youyou, who shared a Nobel Prize in medicine in 2015, is the only woman of color to win.

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