Nobel Prize for Chemistry: Marie Curie, daughter Irene among five women ever awarded

The Nobel Prize for Chemistry for this year will be announced on Wednesday by the Stockholm-based Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Previously, the prize was given to 183 individuals on 111 occasions.

However, the prize was not awarded on eight earlier occasions, including 1916, 1917, 1919, 1924, 1933, 1940, 1941 and 1942 because of the prevailing World I and II, for not meeting the criteria in the foundation’s statutes.

The award has been received by 71 scientists from the United States of America (USA), followed by 33 from Germany and the United Kingdom (UK) each, respectively.

Also read: Three scientists share Nobel Physics Prize 2020 for their work on black holes

Three of the four Nobel laureates, who have been awarded twice, have received one of their awards in chemistry.

Marie Curie, the only woman to have received two Nobel Prizes, received the recognition for physics and chemistry.

British biochemist Frederick Sanger had received it twice for his work on structure of proteins, especially that of insulin. He was one of only two persons, who was honoured in the same category.

Linus Pauling, the only person to receive two unshared Nobel Prizes, had received the recognition for chemistry and peace.

While John Bardeen was awarded two Nobel Prizes for Physics.

Three Nobel recipients – two of whom had received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry – were forbidden by German Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler from accepting the award.

The Nobel Prize for Chemistry for 1938 was given to the Richard Kuhn for his work on carotenoids, which are pigments in plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria, and vitamins and to Adolf Butenandt for his work on sex hormones. Both had rejected the prize initially, but later had accepted it after World War II. The third person to refuse the award was Gerhard Domagk, who had received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1939.

The youngest person to receive the Nobel Prize for Chemistry was Frédéric Joliot at the age of 35 in 1935. He had received the prize with his wife Irène Joliot-Curie, the daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie.

So far, five women have received the coveted award, including Marie Curie and her daughter Irène Joliot-Curie. The others to receive the award were Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin in 1964, Ada Yonath (2009), and Frances H. Arnold (2018).

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