“No Nobel Prize for Cécile Mugnier Vogt”

 

Cécile Mugnier Vogt was the first woman nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1922 (never awarded).

She received a total of 13 nominations, along with her husband Oskar Vogt, as retrieved from the Nomination Database for Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

1922 – Nominators (3):

Robert Bárány (Nobel Laureate in Medicine, 1914, Austria), Gustaf Bergmark  (Professor of Medicine, Sweden),  Emil A. Holmgren (Professor of Histology, Sweden)

Motivation: Work on the architectonics of the cerebral cortex, cortex localization and     on the function of corpus striatum.

1923 – Nominators (1):

Karl Kleist (Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, Germany)

Motivation: Research on the physio-pathoarchitectonics of the brain

1926 – Nominators (1):

Wilhelm Weygandt  (Professor of Psychiatry, Germany)

Motivation: Work on the architectonics of the cerebral cortex

1928 –  Nominators (1):

Edmund R. Forster (Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, Germany)

Motivation: Work on the architectonics of the cerebral cortex

1929 –  Nominators (1):

Karl Kleist (Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, Germany)

Motivation: Work on the architectonics of the cerebral cortex, cortex localization and on the function of corpus striatum

1930 – Nominators (1):

Albert Policard (Professor of Histology, France)

Motivation: Work on the cytoarchitectonics of the brain

1950 – Nominators (1):

Franz Volhard (Professor of Medicine, Germany)

Motivation: Work concerning the anatomy and genetics of the brain (cyto- and myeloarchitectonic,  diseases of the striatum system, aging of glial cells and their          changes in schizophrenia)

1951 – Nominators (1):

Paul Vogel (Professor of Neurology, Germany)

Motivation:The cyto-anatomy of the brain

1953 – Nominators (3):

Hans H. Weber (Professor of Physiology, Germany), Theodor Naegeli (Professor of Surgery, Germany), Antonio Egas Moniz (Nobel Laureate in Medicine, 1949, Portugal)

Motivation: not reported

 

In 1932 Cécile Mugnier Vogt was a Nominator for Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and her Nominees were Thomas H Morgan (Professor of Biology, United States) who received the Prize in 1933 and Hermann J. Muller (Professor of Zoology, United States) who received the Prize in 1946.

The Vogts developed a new technique of microanatomy. Their experimental and clinical studies were aimed at precisely determine brain-behavior interactions.

What was the contribution of Cécile Vogt?

“She made sure that the methods of brain study met and maintained the highest standards. The collection of animal and human brain sections, the largest in the world… was in a sense her personal property; she was familiar with each case and each section; without her help, many staff members would not have been able to use the collection.’(Meessen 1962)

How different were men’s and women’s brains?

Cécile Vogt demonstrated that parameters such as brain weight and the number of convolutions were irrelevant for the mental performance of an individual. Therefore, women should not be excluded from any profession ”on the grounds of brain research as it stands today” (Hagner 2008)

“Cécile fought the pervasive preconception that women were intellectually inferior to men or unsuited to certain types of work. In the 1920s, she asserted publicly that nothing in her research supported a difference between the brains of men and women. But despite an illustrious research career, her contribution to neurology is all too often overlooked and overshadowed by that of her husband”. (Akkermans 2018)

 

Today, we celebrate a special day: the 143rd birthday of Cécile Mugnier Vogt!

 

 

  • Akkermans R. Historical Profile. Cécile Vogt. Lancet Neurol. 2018, Jan 12.
  • Meessen H. Cécile Vogt, geboren am 27. März 1875, gestorben am 4. Mai 1962. Dtsch. med. Wschr. 1962, 87: 1674-75.
  • Hagner M. Genius, gender, and elite in the history of the neurosciences. In: Karafyllis NC, Ulshöfer G (eds). Sexualized Brains. Scientific modeling of emotional intelligence from a cultural perspective. Cambridge, MIT Press; 2008; 53–68.

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