The Smithsonian Institution has been uploading some of their extensive collection of historical photographs to Flickr. One of their sets is a collection of portraits of scientists and inventors. While most of the pictured scientists are bewhiskered men, there are a few women in the set. I know that Marie Sklodowska Curie is one of the most famous women in physics and probably I should have chosen a more obscure person to feature in a picture here, but her face is just so striking. From the Women in Science post: "She was born in Warsaw in 1867 and received a general education there. She eventually ended up at the Sorbonne in Paris, where she earned degrees in physics and mathematical sciencies – and met her husband, Physics Professor Pierre Curie. The Curies initially worked together in their research on radioactive elements, but after Pierre was killed in an accident in 1906, she continued the research on her own. She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre and Antoine Becquerel for their "research on the radiation phenomena". Maria Curie also received the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her discovery and characterization of radium. She died in 1934 of aplastic anaemia, likely caused by radiation exposure, missing by only a single year the award of the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to her daughter, Irene Joliot-Curie."
The Nobel prizes for 2008 are about to be announced, starting on Monday (6 Oct) with the the prize for physiology or medicine. See here for some predictions of the winners, and where to log your own choices. It will be interesting to see if any women are honoured this year, or whether the Nobel foundation will keep to its rather dismal track record in this regard.