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Nobel Diversity

For the past two years, there have been no female Nobel Prize laureates, and, Nature News says, only 3 percent of the prizes over its history have gone to women.

However, it notes that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the prizes in chemistry, physics and economics, and the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, which awards the physiology or medicine prize, have been making small changes to their nomination processes to boost both gender and geographic diversity.

For 2019, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences prize committees is to ask nominators in their invitation letters to consider gender, geography, and topic diversity, while the Karolinska Institute's letters are to highlight that nominators can suggest people corresponding to three different findings.

Nature News adds that, two years ago, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences increased the number of women eligible to make such nominations, which it says has led to an uptick in the representation of women as nominators. The Karolinska Institute is also, it says, boosting the number of women it invites as nominators.

Göran Hansson, secretary-general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, tells Nature News that these changes are to guarantee that the best scientists win the Nobel and that women are not left out of that process.