You might be surprised at how many famous female scientists there really are.
Our world today is like it is because of the wonders of science and man’s (and woman’s) ingenuity to apply their theories to practicalities and make them reality. Scientists answer seemingly impossible questions and advance us forward in our knowledge and understanding. Obviously, there have been many genius scientists though the ages and in more recent times, many women among them. Sadly, the gender gap meant fewer women able to reach their potential but here are some trailblazing famous female scientists I think you should be aware of.
She was a polish woman whose name was Marie Sklodowska-Curie, and she was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first (and only) to win multiple prizes, the first female professor at the University of Paris, and the first woman who earned her own tomb at the Panthéon in Paris on her own merits. Marie Curie was the first of many famous scientists to study the effects of radiation and pioneered radioactivity research which lead to subsequent breakthroughs with cancer research. Marie Curie worked with her husband, but this is one relationship where the women was more famous than the man! The Curies' daughter, Irene, also won a Nobel Prize (jointly with her husband Frederic Joliot). Marie Curie is one of the most well known famous female scientists.
Elizabeth was a Swiss American psychiatrist who discovered we all go through a very similar grief cycle, which she studied to become a pioneer in near-death studies. She discovered five stages of grief, which can be expanded into ten or more stages. All five stages are predictable which means psychiatrists can now better treat grief as a result.
Caroline Herschel moved from Germany as a household cleaner, to work in Britain as a maid. In her free time, she assisted her brother in making and using telescopes. Her brother discovered Uranus and was hired by the British King. She is one of the world’s famous scientists because Caroline went on to discover eight comets and was the first woman in history to be paid a living wage for her discovery. Both she and her brother discovered over 2,500 stars. Before they started, there were only 100 known (catalogued) stars.
She may not have invented the atom bomb, but she was the first woman to ever become a legitimate medical doctor in the USA. Elizabeth Blackwell was also the first female on the UK Medical Register. She may not have made fantastic discoveries or developed amazing theories, but she was a trailblazer who helped open up the medical profession to women.
Chien was a Chinese woman who overthrew a very common immutable physics law. It was common knowledge that nature distinguishes between right and left, until she came along and proved that weak force sub atomic particles do not distinguish between right and left. Sadly, it was 1957, so the Nobel Prize was given to two of her male colleagues.
Here is another female first, as Mary Somerville was the first to have her scientific paper read and published by the Royal Society and then published in its Philosophical Transactions. Her work helped further prove the magnetic properties of violet rays. She wrote a lot of sophisticated papers, some of which she had to do in secret. She was the first woman to be elected to the Royal Astronomical Society in 1835.
Another Nobel Laureate, Dorothy Hodgkin was a chemist. She undertook her research at Oxford University in the UK where her field of study was X-ray crystallography – using X-rays to determine the three-dimensional structure of molecules. Hodgkin spent many years perfecting the technique and was recognized for her achievement with the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1964. Her work determined the structures of super-important molecules like insulin, vitamin B12 and penicillin.
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