WOMENST 455 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: C. F. Powell, Lise Meitner, Jocelyn Bell Burnell

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1 Sep 2016
Department
Professor
Tanya Vargas
Fair or Unfair: Should these Women have received the Nobel Prize, Too?
Lise Meitner
The Nobel Committee did not award the Prize correctly and Lise Meitner should have been the
recipient of the award. It seems pretty unfair that Meitner and Hahn worked together for about
15 years which is quite some time. I find it disrespectful that Hahn would not defend her when
others questioned her ability. If I have been working with someone for more than 15 years I
would defend my partner and talk about the great things they have. Lise is described as “strict,
ladylike upbringing and was very reserved, even shy.” She does not seem strict, Lise should
have been less shy about things. Lise kept going with Hahn recruiting him and sharing her
thoughts. Regardless of the great opportunities Meitner offered to Hahn when Hahn published
his work he did not give Meitner any credit. I see that very unfair but at the same time during
that time period it must have difficult being a female and of Jewish heritage.
Chien-Shiung Wu
The Nobel Committee did not award the Prize correctly and Chien-Shiung Wu should have been
the recipient of the award. Wu has had great success, she was asked to stay at Columbia
University after the war. Wu did not receive a Nobel Prize for her work on beta decay,
unfortunately it did not qualify. The fact that her own student worker stated that “it wasn’t quite a
discovery” sounds a little harsh. It was very fair that Tsung Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang
published their work with WU as their listed name in the paper. They were all working together
seeing if it would disprove Fermi’s Law of Parity; later in 1957 Lee and Yang won the Nobel
Prize for physics but WU did not receive credit. It’s not fair that they include her name in a
published paper but do not give Wu credit when it comes to a Nobel Prize.
Marietta Blau
The Nobel Prize Committee did not award the Prize correctly and Marietta Blau should have
been the recipient of the recipient of the award. First of all Marietta held an unpaid position at
the Institute for Radium Research in Vienna. She had a few difficulties that made her stop her
experiments, Blau was forced to leave Austria due to her Jewish background. Due to her Jewish
background she also migrated Norway then to Mexico and lastly to US. Cecil Powell won the
Nobel Prize for Physics for development of the photographic method, it is clear to me that, this
idea or finding were taken away from Blau. It is unfair that she was nominated for 1950 Nobel
Prize due to lose votes by the Nobel Committee she did not receive a Prize.
Jocelyn Bell Burnell
The Nobel Prize Committee did not award the Prize correctly and Jocelyn Bell Burnell should
have been the recipient of the recipient of the award. She helped to build the telescope, she
made the cables herself, began her true research in 1967. Jocelyn was working with Anthony
Hewish, and Hewish published an article with detailed work. Jocelyn was given any recognition,
in 1974 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded jointly to Hewish and Sir Martin Ryle. Burnell
received a lot of awards through her career but she did not receive a Nobel Prize for her
doctoral research.
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