Girls who love science hear a lot about Marie Curie. She’s our go-to gal for women in the hard sciences. But she isn’t the only one. In fact, five female Nobel laureates in the sciences in the last five years.
In 2009, Carol Greider, Elizabeth Blackburn, and Jack Szostak shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. That’s two of the teams three members with two X chromosomes.
But something that makes Carol Greider a real champion in my book is that she epitomizes the insane ideal that we’ve constructed about a Super Mom. She does it all, raising her children, breaking boundaries in her work, everything. We have this ideal of the “new woman,” a woman who is a mother, who is still a hard working lady, keeps herself fit and healthy, and who takes care of her family in a personal way. A woman who can do anything.
One morning Carol Greider was folding laundry, getting ready to go to a spin class. The phone rang, with the news that in 45 minutes she would be presented with the Nobel Prize. And 45 minutes later, she accepted that prize with her nine year old and 13 year old watching her in the audience.
She and her team won the Nobel for discovering the enzyme telomerase, which protects the ends of chromosomes.
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