More women are thriving in science – does that mean attitudes have changed?

Over the past four years, you could be excused for thinking that there has been an avalanche of women excelling in the field of science.

We have seen half a dozen women collect Nobel prizes in physiology or medicine, physics and chemistry. Their staggering achievements range from Katalin Karikó’s contribution to the development of mRNA vaccines against Covid-19 to Andrea Ghez’s co-discovery of a supermassive black hole at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy.

In 2020, we witnessed the first science Nobel prize won by two women alone – without sharing the honour with a man – after Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier revolutionised the study of genetics with the development of Crispr genome editing, raising hopes for the treatment of many diseases.

So, what’s going on? Has there been a change in attitudes towards women in science?