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In 1896 Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite, created through his will annual awards for important discoveries in physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine. Since 1901, when the first Nobel Prizes were awarded, over 300 men and only nine women have received this honor. Nobel Prize Women in Science examines in a series of informative and easily read biographical chapters the lives of these nine women as well as those of five other female scientists who played crucial roles in Nobel Prize—winning projects.
The first female scientist described is Marie Curie, who, with her husband, won the first of two Nobel Prizes in 1903 for her work on radioactivity. Of note, initially only Pierre Curie was considered for the award, and he wrote, "If it is true that one is seriously thinking about me [for the prize], I very much wish to be considered together with Madame Curie [for]
Collier VU. Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles and Momentous Discoveries. JAMA. 1994;271(14):1135-1136. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510380093049