Category: donna strickland

These 5 Women Deserved, And Were Unjustly Deni…

These 5 Women Deserved, And Were Unjustly Denied, A Nobel Prize In Physics

“The fact of the matter is that there is no concrete evidence that women are in any way inherently inferior to men when it comes to work in any of the sciences or any of their sub-fields. But there is overwhelming evidence for misogyny, sexism, and institutional bias that hinders their careers and fails to recognize them for their outstanding achievements. When you think of the Nobel Laureates in Physics and wonder why there are so few women, make sure you remember Cecilia Payne, Chien-Shiung Wu, Vera Rubin, Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, and Lise Meitner. The Nobel committee may have forgotten or overlooked their contributions until it was too late, but that doesn’t mean we have to. In all the sciences, we want the best, brightest, most capable, and hardest workers this world has to offer. Looking back on history with accurate eyes only serves to demonstrate how valuable, and yet undervalued, women in science have been.”

In most intellectual lines of work, if you claimed that a certain type of person wasn’t mentally capable of doing as good a job as another, you’d be rightfully called a bigot. Yet somehow, in a myriad of the sciences (such as physics), there are those who simultaneously claim that “women are inferior to men” alongside the claim that it isn’t sexist or bigoted to say so.

But what there is a long history of, in physics, is women being denied their due credit for discoveries and advances that they were an integral part of. Even in the aftermath of last week’s events, when physicist Donna Strickland became just the third woman ever to be awarded a Nobel Prize, many have claimed that she isn’t worthy, for reasons that have never been applied to men.

Well, meet five women you might not be aware of who certainly earned a Nobel Prize, even if they were never awarded one. We cannot rewrite history, but we can right the legacy of its wrongs in our public consciousness.

This Is Why The 2018 Nobel Prize In Physics, F…

This Is Why The 2018 Nobel Prize In Physics, For Lasers, Is So Important

“It has often been noted, such as by the AAUW, that one of the barriers to accepting women in STEM as normal is a lack of representation at the highest levels. In selecting Donna Strickland as a Nobel Laureate, in the same year that Jocelyn Bell-Burnell was awarded the $3M Breakthrough Prize, we’re stepping closer to a world where women can expect to receive equal treatment and equal respect to men in the scientific workplace.

Whether your research will win you the Nobel Prize — or even will be successful — is often largely a matter of luck. But rewarding those who do good work, get lucky in how nature responds, and leads to the development of technological applications that serve humanity is what the Nobel is all about. This year, there can be no doubt the selection committee got it right. Let’s all celebrate Ashkin, Mourou, and Strickland as your 2018 Nobel Laureates in Physics!”

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou, and Donna Strickland, for advances in the field of laser physics. Ashkin wins half the prize for his work developing the optical tweezers technique, while Mourou and Strickland share the other half for the development of chirped pulse amplification, which creates high-power, short-period pulses of lasers. Both of these inventions have proven their worth scientifically and practically, leading to a wide variety of applications. But there’s so much more to the story than that, and the fact that this is just the third physics Nobel ever to include a woman cannot be overlooked.

Come learn all about the science and societal impacts underlying the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics!