Just The Facts

The Nobels of China

How many Chinese Nobel Laureates have there been since 1901?

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Takeaways


  • Tu Youyou was awarded the Nobel Prize for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria.
  • More former Chinese citizens have won a Nobel than the number who were citizens when they received one.

1. There have been only five Nobel Laureates who were Chinese citizens at the time they were awarded their prizes.

2. The latest of them is Tu Youyou, a co-recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, who works as a researcher at the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing.

3. The Nobel Prize was awarded to Tu Youyou “for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria.” She identified a 4th Century traditional treatment (out of 2,000 tested) that showed enough promise to develop into a modern treatment.

4. Dr. Tu is the 12th woman to win that prize (and she is the 11th to share it with male co-recipients).

5. In 2012, groundbreaking Chinese novelist and essayist Mo Yan (who writes under the pen name Guan Moye) won the Nobel Literature Prize.

6. The prize was awarded for his works of “hallucinatory realism” that merge Chinese “folk tales, history and the contemporary.”

7. In 2010, human rights campaigner Liu Xiaobo, won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, while in prison (where he remains).

8. Liu was the first Chinese laureate in more than half a century.

9. In 1957, Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang were jointly awarded the Physics Prize, making them the first two Chinese Nobel Laureates.

10. While they were Chinese citizens at the time the prize was awarded, they later became U.S. citizens. More former Chinese citizens have won a Nobel than the number who were still citizens when they received one.

Sources: The Globalist Research Center, Encyclopedia Britannica online, the New York Times and NobelPrize.org, the official website of the Nobel Prize.

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