Illuminating the discoveries of Nobel Prize-winning women

The Nobel organization is on a mission to raise awareness of scientific breakthroughs made by women.

Women who changed science is a new online experience—created in partnership with Microsoft—that celebrates pioneers like Marie Curie and Marie Goeppert-Mayer, as well as women who are transforming science and the world as we know it today. It focuses on the inspiring journeys and contributions of female Nobel Prize-winners, shedding light on their tremendous impact.

Science, like all human endeavors, is evolutionary. We build by adding to and recombining what is already there.

- Frances Arnold, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018
(Original Caption) New York: Dr. Rosalyn Yalow, a nuclear physicist who spent 30 years researching hormones at the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital, works in her lab Oct. 13 after learning she was one of three American doctors awarded the 1977 Nobel prize for Medicine. Sharing the honors with her for their work in the field of hormones are Dr. Roger Guillman of San Diego's Salk Institute, and Dr. Roger V. Schally of the Veterans Administration Hospital in New Orleans. 10/13/1977
Italian scientist Rita Levi-Montalcini wearing a white gown sitting at a desk and holding a guinea pig's tail. Italy, 1950s (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Professor Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin at work in her laboratory. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1964. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Editorial use only Barbara McClintock (1902-1992), American geneticist, working in her laboratory at the Carnegie Institution at Cold Spring Harbor, New York, USA. McClintock is most famous for her work in the 1940s and 1950s on the genetics of maize. She discovered the moving of genes in chromosomes, by observing patterns of kernel coloration. She named these genes transposable elements. In 1983 she received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her work on mobile genetic elements. Photograph in 1980.
Launching a new era of medical research
The lone woman faculty member at her university, Rosalyn Yalow developed a revolutionary method for measuring concentrations of hormones in the blood, radioimmunoassay (RIA). She received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1977.
Changing our understanding of the human body
After fleeing the Holocaust, Rita Levi-Montalcini set up a laboratory in hiding. And a decade later, she made her stunning nerve growth factor discovery that led to her winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1986.
Uncovering mysteries of the molecular world
Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin dedicated her life to chemistry. Working through chronic rheumatoid arthritis, she developed X-ray crystallography, uncovering the complex structure of penicillin. She won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964.
Shaping the field of modern genetics
Studying how kernels of maize changed color over generations, Barbara McClintock devised the theory of genetic transposition—an idea so ahead of its time, it was overlooked for years. But in 1983, she received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Using Microsoft AI technology to surface deep connections between the intricate stories of these women, the digital site—built with Microsoft Cognitive Services APIs—weaves together the biographies of these pioneers through images, archival video footage, and their own words. It brings their contributions to life and helps audiences, particularly young women, engage with these luminaries in a way that’s never been possible before.

Microsoft_Nobel_Lumia_Scroll
On the landing page, visitors match with Nobel prizewinners in order to read stories about their lives and scientific discoveries, or explore a constellation of images, videos, and documents related to their experiences.
Visitors answer three questions and receive a matching Nobel prizewinner whose story relates most closely to their own personal interests.
Visitors are presented with illustrated stories about the Nobel prizewinners lives and discoveries. Each story is enriched with keywords that branch off to other related stories.
Visitors may explore the full collection of images, video, audio, and research documents, and discover connections between the Nobel prizewinners.

The collaboration between Nobel Media and Microsoft is part of an ongoing initiative to build inclusion in STEM fields. The hope is that Women who changed science will transform the way we think about the innovators behind major scientific breakthroughs, while also empower the next generation of young scientists to change our world.

Visit nobelprize.org/womenwhochangedscience to connect with the stories of these Nobel laureates and their discoveries.

Every scientist dreams of doing something that can help the world.

- Tu Youyou, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015

Beyond the Nobel Prize, there are countless women who have pushed boundaries and explored new frontiers in the sciences—often as unsung heroes. Astronaut, scientist, and physician Dr. Mae Jemison is trying to change that. As the first woman of color in space, she’s working to bring to light the women who made critical contributions to the US space program.