Sunday, 7 August 2016

Born this day: Elinor Ostrom

"We've already entered a new era and we recognise that women have the capabilities of doing great scientific work. And yes, I appreciate that this is an honour to be the first woman but I won't be the last."
Elinor Ostrom

Photograph: Elinor Ostrom (Manitoulin Island, 1968, Elinor Ostrom Collection, The Lilly Library)

Elinor Claire "Lin" Ostrom (7 August 1933 - 12 June 2012) was the first - and so far only - woman to be awarded the Nobel memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2009) and the first woman to receive the William H. Riker Prize in political science (2008). Ostrom was awarded several other prizes ... years after struggling to be admitted to the PhD programme:
"That was an entirely different picture. It was in this hostile environment where a lot of the faculty did not like it that there were women in the programme. Economics just said 'no' and part of the reason they said that was because I had not had any math in college. And much of the reason for that was that in my high school they didn't let girls take trigonometry unless they got an A in algebra and geometry." Elinor Ostrom
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::: Elinor Ostrom's Prize Lecture, 8 December 2009 (37 pages): Beyond Markets and States: Polycentric Governance of Complex Economic Systems
::: Elinor Ostrom (29 pages): Understanding Institutional Diversity

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photograph via


  1. Thanks for the ongoing expansion of my knowledge base through your postings! :-)

    1. That is wonderful and very sweet of you to say. Thanks, Karen! :-)