The journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines was the only woman to be awarded a Nobel this year, sharing the Peace Prize with another journalist, Dmitri A. Muratov of Russia. Together, they were recognized for “their courageous fight for freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”
The lack of women awarded in the sciences this year felt like a “giant step backward,” said Sandy Robert, the chief executive of the Association for Women in Science.
“The participation, leadership, and recognition of women and minorities in science has grown over the last 50 years,” Ms. Robert said in a news release. “We encourage award committees to make more of an effort to identify underrepresented scientists and learn about their work.”
One woman, Marie Curie, was honored twice, winning the Nobel in Physics in 1903 and the Nobel in Chemistry in 1911.
Last year, several women were honored. The Nobel in Chemistry was jointly awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for their work on the development of Crispr-Cas9, a method for genome editing. The Nobel in Physics was shared by two men and a woman, Andrea Ghez, for discoveries that have improved understanding of the universe, including work on black holes. And the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Louise Glück, one of America’s most celebrated poets.