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Women who changed the world


Literary mastery, pioneering science, life-saving discoveries and actions for peace and human rights - achievements of women around the world awarded the Nobel Prize.

Marie Curie

- discovered the elements radium and polonium

Marie Curie is the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize and still the only person to receive the Prize in two different scientific fields. In 1898, she discovered two new elements: radium and polonium. Here's the story behind the discovery.

Women who changed science: Maria Goeppert Mayer

For most of her career, Maria Goeppert Mayer worked “just for the fun of doing physics,” without pay or status or a tenured position. She was 58 before she became a full professor. And yet she made major contributions to the growing understanding of nuclear physics, including the revelatory nuclear shell model.

Discover her story in a storytelling experience


Discover more

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1986

Many Nobel Laureates have often faced times of enormous disruption. Rita Levi-Montalcini faced many challenges on her road to the Nobel Prize. Born in Italy in 1909, her father did not believe in professional careers for women and did not let his daughters enroll at university. But Levi-Montalcini insisted on studying. The long road to the Nobel Prize included having to build a laboratory in her bedroom during World War II.

Rita Levi-Montalcini

Rita Levi-Montalcini

© Nobel Media

Watch the documentary 'Into the fire'

“One wrong step will cost me my life”

In an area of Iraq destroyed by ISIS, Hana Khider leads an all-female team of Yazidi deminers. Their job involves painstakingly searching for booby traps in bombed out buildings and fields, where one wrong move means certain death.
Hana works for the Mines Advisory Group, an organisation which is part of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a coalition awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.

The video is available all over the world, apart from in Australia, New Zealand and India.

Nobel Prize conversations

“I am going to do one of the world’s best PhDs”

In this new podcast episode Physics Laureate Donna Strickland speaks about her childhood dream of a PhD, dealing with failure, being a woman in science and being awarded the Nobel Prize.

Enjoy a new ‘Nobel Prize Conversation’!


Nobel Laureates share their stories

“I have always loved going to school. I was one of those rare kids who was happy to have summer vacation over so I could go back to school. I started this love affair with school at Victory Public School.” In her newly published biography on, Physics Laureate Donna Strickland shares her fascinating life story.

Strickland recieving medal

Donna Strickland receives her Nobel Prize from the King of Sweden.

© Nobel Media. Photo: Alexander Mahmoud

“I did not set out to be the first female engineer to break into this rarefied territory, but I was one of the first to be given the chance to show what she could do. Only the ninth woman to be hired on the Caltech faculty, I am the first female Nobel Laureate there. Many brilliant women have joined science and engineering faculties in my lifetime, and I predict that many more of the highest recognitions of women’s scientific contributions are coming.” - Chemistry Laureate Frances Arnold in her biography.

Frances H Arnold at award ceremony

Frances H. Arnold after receiving her Nobel Prize at the Stockholm Concert Hall, 10 December 2018.

© Nobel Media. Photo: Nanaka Adachi

Nobel Prize nominations

The Norwegian Nobel Committee received 329 candidates for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. 95 of these are organizations.

040 Nobels fredspris 2017

2017 Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony.

© Photo: Ken Opprann/Nobel Media

Did you know that there is no public list of the current year’s nominees for the Peace Prize? The complete list of nominees of any year’s prizes is not disclosed for 50 years. The same goes for all the prize categories. Learn more about the nomination process in a Q&A with Olav Njølstad, Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

Peace Prize nomination process

The nomination process for Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.

© Nobel Media. Ill. Niklas Elmehed

Laureates share their thoughts

2019 Physics Laureates: Why I got into science

“I used to break apart stuff just to understand how it works”

James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz were awarded last year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos. Here they tell why they got into science.

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr

Nobel Minds 2020

Nobel Laureates in discussion

The 2020 Nobel Laureates talk about their research and careers in a unique roundtable discussion, 'Nobel Minds', moderated by Cecilia Gralde. They are discussing the theories, discoveries and research behind their awards, and the value of science in dealing with the global pandemic.

Participating Nobel Laureates: Physics laureate Andrea Ghez, Chemistry laureate Emmanuelle Charpentier, Medicine laureate Michael Houghton, Assistant Executive-Director Valerie Guarnieri representing Peace Prize laureate World Food Programme and laureate in Economic Sciences Paul Milgrom.

Nobel Week Dialogue

Nobel Prize Concert 2020

The world-renowned pianist Igor Levit performed at the 2020 Nobel Prize Concert on 8 December. At his side, he had conductor Stéphane Denève leading the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.

Watch the concert

Nobel Prize Concert 2020

Igor Levit and Stéphane Denève at Konsterthuset Stockholm, Sweden, on 8 December 2020.

© Nobel Prize Outreach. Photo: Niklas Elmehed

Nobel Prizes 2020

The Nobel Peace Prize 2020 was awarded to the World Food Programme (WFP) for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.

© Nobel Media. Ill. Niklas Elmehed.

Nobel Prize Lessons

From genetic editing to combatting world hunger. An unmistakable poetic voice to black holes. New treatments for hepatitis C to the quest for the perfect auction. Now you can bring the discoveries and achievements made by the 2020 Nobel Laureates into the classroom.

The lessons are free and so easy to use that a teacher can look through the manual, watch the slides, print the texts for students and then start the class.

Nobel Medal

The Nobel Prize Medal

Photo: Alexander Mahmoud

Coming up

Alfred Nobel - Established the Nobel Prize

On 27 November 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his last will in Paris, France. The Swedish dynamite millionaire, who thought that his invention would end all wars, had now realised that it was a very deadly product. Wanting to make amends, he did what no man of such wealth had done before ...

Alfred Nobel Will

On 10 December 1901 the first Nobel Prizes were awarded, in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace. Read more about the first prizes.

The first Nobel Prize Award Ceremony was held in 1901 at the Royal Academy of Music, Stockholm.

Chemist, engineer and industrialist Alfred Nobel left 31 million SEK (today about 265 million dollar) to fund the Nobel Prizes. Read more about his life and work.

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Nobel destinations

Stockholm, Sweden
The Nobel Prize: Ideas Changing the World (3)

The museum showcases the discoveries and creativity of the Nobel Laureates.

Photo: Åke Eson Lindman

NPC Nye Nobels Hage 10

The story of each Peace Laureate is told at the museum.

Photo: Johannes Granseth / Nobel Peace Center

In memoriam

Chemistry Laureate Paul J. Crutzen passed away on 28 January. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for work in atmospheric chemistry, a work that led to extensive limitations on the release of ozone-damaging substances.

Paul J. Crutzen

Martinus J.G. Veltman, was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physics for contributions concerning electromagnetic and weak interactions of the building blocks of matter. He passed away on 4 January at age 89.


Physicist Jack Steinberger passed away on 12 December. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988 after managing to create a beam of neutrinos using a high-energy accelerator.

Masatoshi Koshiba passed away on 12 November. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2002 "for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos."

Masatoshi Koshiba