Fifty years of nominations for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Thousands of researchers have been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry since it was first awarded in 1901. This guided tour of the first 50 years of those nominations is the latest addition to C&EN's annual Nobel Prize coverage, which includes prize prediction webinars and a visual analysis of winners.

Click anywhere to see what we found in the data, and then query the database yourself.
There were 1,987 nominations submitted for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry between 1901 and 1950. There were 1,987 nominations submitted for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry between 1901 and 1950.
Seven women were nominated for the chemistry prize 32 times between 1901 and 1950. Two won. Seven women were nominated for the chemistry prize 32 times between 1901 and 1950. Two won.
From 1901 to 1950, scientists residing in just three countries received 62% of the chemistry nominations. From 1901 to 1950, scientists residing in just three countries received 62% of the chemistry nominations.
From 1901 to 1950, Walther Nernst was the most nominated chemist (76 times) who eventually won the chemistry prize (in 1920). Nernst was recognized for his work on the thermodynamics of chemical reactions. From 1901 to 1950, Walther Nernst was the most nominated chemist (76 times) who eventually won the chemistry prize (in 1920). Nernst was recognized for his work on the thermodynamics of chemical reactions.
From 1901 to 1950, Georges Urbain was the most nominated chemist (56 nominations spanning 13 years) who never went on to win the chemistry prize. Urbain worked with rare-earth elements and discovered element 71, lutetium, in 1907. From 1901 to 1950, Georges Urbain was the most nominated chemist (56 nominations spanning 13 years) who never went on to win the chemistry prize. Urbain worked with rare-earth elements and discovered element 71, lutetium, in 1907.
Hans von Euler-Chelpin submitted the most nominations (26 of them) between 1901 and 1950. The biochemist was nominated 16 times himself before winning in 1929 for his investigations of sugar fermentation and how enzymes carry out fermentation. Hans von Euler-Chelpin submitted the most nominations (26 of them) between 1901 and 1950. The biochemist was nominated 16 times himself before winning in 1929 for his investigations of sugar fermentation and how enzymes carry out fermentation.
Explore the data.

Explore the data

Want to know more about the first 50 years? Click the arrows to reveal additional information about a chemistry nominee, or click a year tag to see a list of nominees from that year. Click other tags to filter the data in different ways.

See our methods and credits.

Some notes on our methods


Data appearing in C&EN's guided tour of nominations for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and accompanying database were sourced from Nobel Media's Nomination Archive. Nobel Media does not release nomination details until 50 years after a nomination was submitted.

Our analysis of the nominations for chemistry includes only the first 50 years, 1901–50. Nominees who won the prize after 1950 are not tagged as winners in this dataset, but post-1950 wins are noted in nominee details.

The original data were fact-checked and edited for style, and Nobel Media was consulted when data inconsistencies could not be reconciled.

The names of nominees and nominators are given as first name and last name in most cases.

Universities and other organizations are given with present-day names in most cases, and country refers to the location of a person’s affiliation at the time of nomination. All geographic information presented reflects current geopolitical names and borders.

In cases where C&EN could not confirm biographical details, the information was listed as "Unknown."

If you spot an error or can fill in unknown biographical details about a person listed in the database, please contact us:

Credits


Fact-checkers: Nathan Bradley and Jessica Morrison, with additional contributions from Matt Davenport, Jeff Huber, Manny Morone, Alex Tullo, and Andrea Widener

Designer: Robert Bryson

Developers: Nader Heidari, with additional contributions from Tchad Blair

Editors: Lauren Wolf, Amanda Yarnell

Project manager: Jessica Morrison