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Lives of Laureates

The play "No Belles," which was recently performed at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, tells the stories of the handful of women who have received Nobel Prizes in the sciences, the Guardian writes.

The three-woman show from the Portal Theatre company "resurrects some of their personal stories to vibrant life, achieving what all good art strives for by laying bare the human reality of their situations, and delivering an emotional punch to raise them above the abstractions of science," it adds.

For instance, the play portrays how physicist Maria Goeppert Mayer moved from university to university and basically performed her research into atomic nuclei as a volunteer, the Guardian says. It also recounts how Rita Levi-Montalcini kept her research into embryonic development going during wartime by begging farmers for fertilized eggs. And of course, it looks at the treatment of Rosalind Franklin, who did not receive a Nobel Prize, by her male colleagues.

"[T]he main strength of No Belles is that it inspires, rather than merely attributing blame to male chauvinism," the Guardian says. "The play plants seeds of hope — and expectation: with so many diseases still without a cure, humankind cannot afford to ignore 50 percent of potential discoverers."