Monthly
MARCH 2017
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard during the interview.
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard.

Five Nobel Women in Focus
"It really challenges you to think freshly about things"
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard was often intensely interested in things as a child. Just 12 years old, she decided to pursue a career in biology, deeply convinced that she would eventually be a researcher, although her teachers thought she was "decidedly lazy". After some years at the university, she changed to biochemistry and moved away from her family and friends to study in another town. This was not the only change of paths during her career. In this interview clip, she talks about being unconventional and thinking in a new way.

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard was awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries of genes that govern embryonic development. 
arrow Watch the interview clip

Gertrude Elion.
Gertrude Elion.
"I was a child with an insatiable thirst for knowledge"
When Gertrude Elion was 15, she watched her grandfather die of cancer. It was then she decided to devote her life to fighting the disease. This proved to be difficult, since her father was bankrupt after the stock market crash of 1929. But thanks to a free college, she could pursue her studies in chemistry. Jobs were scarce for women, and her first years working as a lab assistant were unpaid. In her biography, she describes her way to the research laboratory where she and her co-workers developed new drugs which filled real medical needs.

Gertrude Elion's research revolutionized both the development of new pharmaceuticals and the field of medicine in general. She was awarded the Medicine Prize in 1988. 
arrow Read Gertrude Elion's biography

"At twenty, I realized that I could not possibly adjust to a feminine role as conceived by my father"
Rita Levi-Montalcini was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her work on growth factors. She was born in Italy in 1909. Her father did not believe in a professional career for women, and did not let his daughters enroll at the university. But Rita wanted to study, and was finally allowed to do so. As described in her autobiography, the long road to Stockholm and the Nobel Prize included having to build a laboratory in her bedroom during World War II.

Rita Levi-Montalcini was 103 years old when she passed away in 2012 - the longest-living Nobel Laureate ever. 
arrow Read her biography
Rita Levi-Montalcini.
Rita Levi-Montalcini.

Jody Williams.
Jody Williams.
"To do the right thing even when nobody was looking"
American Jody William was awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the banning and clearing of landmines. When asked what made her believe she could make such an impact, she described her childhood and how her father helped her understand the importance of doing right "the whole time". 
arrow Watch the interview clip

"In fact, I hadn't written a novel"
After over fifty books, novels, short stories and a graphic novel, plays, non-fiction and two operas, Doris Lessing was awarded the Literature Prize in 2007 at the age of 88. Interviewed at her kitchen table in London, she recalls what impelled her to write her first novel, her "best novel", The Grass is Singing
arrow Watch the interview
Doris Lessing.
Doris Lessing.

Monthly Quiz
Who developed a new Malaria therapy?
A woman has been awarded a Nobel Prize 49 times - for literary mastery, pioneering science, life-saving discoveries and actions for peace and human rights. In 2015 a woman was awarded the Medicine Prize for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria that saved the lives of millions of people. Do you know who she was? Make a guess and click to submit you answer. 
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