Göran K. Hansson, secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and Gunnar von Heijne, secretary of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry recently responded to an editorial in Nature. They point out that they share the concerns about the shortage of women and of scientists from outside Europe and North America among Nobel laureates. But the inequitable distribution of Nobel Prizes is a symptom of a bigger problem and others must also work to improve the situation, for example by encouraging women to pursue science careers.
Nature published an editorial with the headline Boosting inclusivity in the Nobels on 15 October this year. In a respons Göran K. Hansson and Gunnar von Heijne points out that it´s not correct that the Nobel committees only invites “elite universities and academies”. In fact, substantial efforts to approach research universities across the world are made. “Our award process strives to ensure that all scientists get a fair chance, irrespective of gender or geography.”
Their view is that the inequitable distribution of Nobel Prizes is a symptom of a bigger problem. Science has been dominated by Western Europe and North America for centuries and women have had limited scientific opportunities. “Others must also work to improve the situation – by encouraging women to pursue science careers and by supporting research in low-income countries.