Nobel head says they won’t institute gender quotas to change lack of women winners

Since the Nobel Prizes began in 1901, only 6.2 percent of the winners have been women, a very low rate carried through this year, when just one of the 13 winners was a woman.

But the head of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the Nobels, says they won’t be instituting quotas requiring more female winners or to rectify an ethnicity imbalance.

Secretary General Goran Hansson told AFP, “It’s sad that there are so few women Nobel laureates and it reflects the unfair conditions in society, particularly in years past but still existing.”

But he said there won’t be quotas because they want to honor people, quote, “because they made the most important discovery, and not because of gender or ethnicity.”

He said the Academy is working to ensure that deserving women get a fair chance to be evaluated for a Nobel, but said, “we need different attitudes to women going into sciences... so that they get a chance to make these discoveries that are being awarded.”

Joe Kelley

Joe Kelley

News Director





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