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A Nobel science first: More than one woman winner, no man

FILE - This Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 file combo image shows Emmanuelle Charpentier, left, and Jennifer Doudna, both speaking at the National Academy of Sciences international summit on the safety and ethics of human gene editing, in Washington. The 2020 Nobel Prize for chemistry has been awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna “for the development of a method for genome editing.” A panel at the Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm made the announcement Wednesday Oct. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna earned a historic first for women in Nobel science prize history. The Nobel Prize committee chose the two Wednesday as the sole winners of the chemistry prize for the genome editing technique CRISPR. In 120 years of Nobel Prizes for medicine, physics and chemistry, the award has never gone to more than one woman, but no man. Three other times, a woman won one of those prizes on their own. But there have been 169 times when more than one man won one of the science prizes, but no women. Overall, a science prize has been awarded to a man 599 times and to a woman 23 times.


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