The Nobel Prizes are awards given to those who have made outstanding contributions to the fields of Chemistry, Physics, Literature, Peace, Physiology or Medicine and Economics. They are awarded each year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Swedish Academy, the Karolinska Institute, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The original noble prizes, which included all the prizes except for the economics award, were established in 1895 by Alfred Nobel. Later in 1968 the Nobel prize in Economics, or The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, was established by the Sveriges Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, for outstanding contributions in the field of Economics. Different Noble prizes are awarded by different committees. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is responsible for awarding the Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, and Economics. The Swedish Academy awards the prize for Literature. The Karolinska Institute awards the Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee awards the Prize in Peace. As of 2010, a total of 751 men and 41 women have been awarded Nobel prizes.
The First Female Recipient
The first ever woman to be awarded a noble prize was Marie Curie, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903, along with her husband Pierre Curie and co-worker Henri Becquerel. She later was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911 for her discovery of radium and polonium. Marie Curie studied mathematics and physics at the Sorbonne in Paris at the age of 24. She met and married her husband Pierre Curie in 1895. Marie Curie was the first to use the word radioactive and to discover that elements other than uranium gave off radiation. Unfortunately Marie Curie died from an overexposure to radiation in July 1934.