‘Nobel Women’ pays tribute to Concha Espina

Until 20 March, the National Museum of Natural History is paying tribute to 12 female Nobel laureates and to other women who were close to winning the Nobel Prize, like Spain’s Concha Espina.

The Nobel Prize is awarded annually to individuals and organisations that make outstanding contributions in the fields of chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine. Since it was first awarded in 1901, there have been 48 female laureates.

In an effort to show the work done by these female scientists and humanists, the National Museum of Natural History is housing, until 20 March, ‘Nobel Women’, an exhibition focusing on the life and work of 12 women awarded the Nobel Prize in a variety of disciplines.

The exhibition, organised with the collaboration of Marca España, the Spanish National Research Council and other organisations, focuses on Marie Curie (Physics), Irène Joliot-Curie (Chemistry), Rita Levi-Montalcini (Physiology or Medicine), Elizabeth Blackburn (Physiology or Medicine), Carol Greider (Physiology or Medicine), May-Britt Moser (Physiology or Medicine), Selma Lagerlöf (Literature), Nelly Sachs (Literature), Bertha von Suttner (Peace), Ada Yonath (Chemistry), Mother Teresa (Peace) and Wangari Maathai (Peace). They have all become global references for their outstanding scientific or literary achievements, their commitment to social causes, and their solidarity.

A tribute to Concha Espina

In addition, the exhibition also includes two outstanding women who were Nobel Prize nominees: Irena Sendler, the Polish nurse who saved the lives of 2500 children in Warsaw (Peace), and Concha Espina, the Spanish writer who was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature as many as 25 times in nine years (including three years in a row, 1926, 1927 and 1928).

A poet, playwright, journalist and novelist, and an outstanding member of the Generation of 1898, Espina is best-known for works like La esfinge maragata (Fastenrath Award of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, 1914), Tierras del Aquilón (Castillo de Chirel Award of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, 1924), and Altar mayor (National Literature Prize, 1927). She was also Vice-Chairwoman of the Hispanic Society of America and an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (New York, 1938).