Nobel Prize Chief Shuns Gender and Ethnicity Quotas: Winners Must Be ‘Worthy’
Since the first Nobel prize was handed out over a century ago, only 59 have been awarded to women—a meager 6.2 percent of the total. But the head of the academy that awards the prizes has rejected the idea that something should be done to help level the playing field. According to The Guardian, Göran Hansson, the secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, lamented that “so few women” had won the prizes but said they must go to those “found the most worthy,” so the academy had decided not to bring in gender or ethnicity quotas. “We have discussed it... but then it would be, we fear, considered that those laureates got the prize because they are women, not because they are the best,” he said. The scientist added that prize-givers have been given subconscious bias training, and said “significant efforts” have been made to encourage nominations of women scientists. Filipino-American journalist Maria Ressa was the only woman honored this year alongside 12 men.