Below is my letter sent to the Ig Nobel on 17th October 2012, in order to submit my improbable nomination for the next Ig Nobel ceremony. In case you never heard about them, « The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology. »
Dear Ig Nobel team,
It gives me great pleasure to nominate a whole bunch of candidates for a suggested Ig Nobel Prize of « Conservatism Science »
My Candidates are the Nobel Prize Committees for their oustanding achievements in Conservatism Science.
Conservatism Science can be described as the interdisciplinary study of patriarchal conservatism through the use of a mix of scientific inquiry and social stereotypes, especially gender stereotypes.
The respected Nobel Prize Committees have undoubtedly demonstrated how women keep failing to pioneer in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, Economics, and of course in Peace activism:
- Women’s researches, experiments, analytical skills and scientific studies are so poor that since its creation, the Physics Nobel Prize had to be awarded to 192 men and 2 women only.
- The Chemistry Nobel Prize had to be awarded to 159 men and 4 women only. Female resources were so scarce that for the first female Laureate, they had to pick the one they had already picked 8 years earlier for the Physics Nobel Prize (Marie Curie). We may even assume some kind of family collusion as her daughter Irène Joliot-Curie was later awarded the same.
- The Physiology or Medicine Nobel Prize had to be awarded to 201 men and 10 women only, as women are better known for their nursing and caring abilities, than for the intellectual and analytical skills required for physiology research and medical practice. This is the reason why Rosalind Franklin’s role in molecular biology and DNA structure discovery has been overlooked by the Nobel Prize when it was awarded, in 1962, to her co-worker Maurice Wilkins and to two other male scientists, Francis Crick and James Watson, who had used her photographies to understand and demonstrate the helical structure of DNA.
- Women’s blatant lack of artistic and intellectual talent is also the reason why the Literature Nobel Prize had to be awarded to 97 men and only 12 women so far. The Nobel Prize committee probably assumes that women will get an opportunity for literary recognition the day the Ig Nobels will create a Prize for Chick Lit.
- Women’s stereotypical aggressivity and violence explain their difficulty in achieving in the field of peace activism. For 100 individual males who have been awarded the Peace Nobel Prize, the jury could only pick 15 females (3 of which had to share the price last year, as women definitely don’t achieve individually).
- And finally, despite repeated appeal to women, the fairer sex has failed to show any interest and achievements in the field of Economics, forcing the Nobel Prize to be awarded to 70 men. It is not until 2009 that they could find a suitable female Laureate, Elinor Ostrom, the only one so far. This single recognition of women’s contribution to economics sounds promising for the near future: given that the first Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was awarded in 1969, we can now statistically expect another woman to be distinguished in 2049!
Such figures speak more than any long speech. Sadly this year, not even one Nobel Prize could be awarded to a woman. The absence of women in the 2012 Laureates list might initially sounds funny, but later raise some questions. How do women persist to fail in 2012, given the global spread of egalitarian ideologies and rampant activism towards woman’s rights and empowerment? The phraze “Girl education” might sounds like a funny oxymore to the educated patriarches, who already know about women structural intellectual, scientific and artistic deficiencies; but so far they have been unable to demonstrate it. For this demonstration of male superiority, we must be grateful to the improbable tenacity and vigilence of the Nobel Prize institution.
Finally, I would like to recall the case of Rosalind Franklin, whom we now know has never been nominated to a Nobel Prize by any member of the scientific community. The Nobel Prize website explains that awarding her the Nobel Prize was out of the question in 1962 as posthumous Nobel Prize are not allowed (she fortunately expired in 1958). Whoever wrote this justification overlooked the fact that this rule was decided in 1974, and that in 1961, a posthumous Peace Nobel Prize was awarded to Dag Hammarskjöld (fortunately a man), just one year before the Nobel Prize was awarded to Rosalind Franlin’s peers, without a word of credit for her.
Indeed some acrimonious minds have suggested that this statutory justification lacks scientific and historical consistency. I prefer to assume that the Nobel Prize acted in good faith and overlooked Franklin’s instrumental and crucial role because she just did not deserve any credit. Hence we can logically and scientifically deduct that Franklin’s achievements have been overrated by hysteric feminists over the years.
The Nobel Prize Committees are therefore justified in repeatedly underating women’s achievements in their selection of Laureates, in accordance with the patriarchal stereotypes which still structure our modern societies, promoting and appraising male authority while dismissing and disheartening female leadership.
I have noticed that surprisingly, the selection of Ig Nobels Laureate shows a better balance between men and women laureates. I look forward to a patriarchal selection of Ig Nobels Laureate for the next ceremony!
- The Nobel Prize
- Improbable Research – Ig Nobels’ website
- The unaccounted work of Rosalind Franklin
- The Nobel Women’s Initiative
- Is there a secret formula to winning one?
- Women as academic authors from 1665 to 2011 via The Chronicle
The picture of The (male) Thinker was created using this photo of The Thinker by Rodin, a tonic and muscular man, and the (female) Thinker using this photo. Note that the female Thinker looks flabby compared to her male counterpart… Does this surprises you?