Women who changed the world

Sunrise

Svetlana Alexievich
LITERATURE 2015

Svetlana Alexievich

Gave voice to the post-Soviet indiviual


Youyou Tu
PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE 2015

Youyou Tu

Discovered a novel therapy against malaria


May-Britt Moser
PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE 2014

May-Britt Moser

Discovered the brain’s positioning system


Malala Yousafzai
PEACE 2014

Malala Yousafzai

Advocate of girls’ right to education


Elinor Ostrom
ECONOMIC SCIENCES 2009

Elinor Ostrom

Studied the management of common property


Elizabeth Blackburn
PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE 2009

Elizabeth Blackburn

Discovered the vital role of telomeres


Carol Greider
PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE 2009

Carol Greider

Discovered the vital role of telomeres


Ada Yonath
CHEMISTRY 2009

Ada Yonath

Mapped the ribosome at the atomic level


Françoise Barré-Sinoussi
PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE 2008

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

Discovered the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)


Doris Lessing
LITERATURE 2007

Doris Lessing

Wrote about how and why we live


Linda Buck
PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE 2004

Linda Buck

Discovered how our sense of smell works


Shirin Ebadi
PEACE 2003

Shirin Ebadi

Human rights activist and lawyer


Wislawa Szymborska
LITERATURE 1996

Wislawa Szymborska

Wrote poetry that links the past with the present


Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard
PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE 1995

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard

Discovered genetic mechanisms controlling early development


Rigoberta Menchú Tum
PEACE 1992

Rigoberta Menchú Tum

Campaigner for the rights of indigenous peoples


Nadine Gordimer
LITERATURE 1991

Nadine Gordimer

Depicted the consequences of apartheid


Gertrude B. Elion
PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE 1988

Gertrude B. Elion

Discovered important principles for drug treatment


Rita Levi-Montalcini
PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE 1986

Rita Levi-Montalcini

Investigated how the nervous system grows and develops


Maria Goeppert Mayer
PHYSICS 1963

Maria Goeppert Mayer

Made the first advanced model of nuclear structure


Gerty Cori
PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE 1947

Gerty Cori

Proved insight into glycogen and glucose metabolism


Emily Greene Balch
PEACE 1946

Emily Greene Balch

Leader of the American peace movement


Pearl Buck
LITERATURE 1938

Pearl Buck

Portrayed peasant life in China


Irène Joliot-Curie
CHEMISTRY 1935

Irène Joliot-Curie

Discovered artificial radioactivity


Sigrid Undset
LITERATURE 1928

Sigrid Undset

Made vivid the life of medieval women


Selma Lagerlöf
LITERATURE 1909

Selma Lagerlöf

Storyteller and painter of peasant life


Bertha von Suttner
PEACE 1905

Bertha von Suttner

Leader in the international peace movement