Women in Science (Part 2)

This is the second part of my women in science post. As we head into more modern times, there are more women:

Émilie du Châtelet deduced the conservation of energy.

Sibylla Merian acted as a ship’s botanist as it sailed to the New World. Unfortunately Linneaus devised classification on sexual characteristics. That meant that women could no longer be exposed to botany, for fear nature would teach them the wrong morals.

Caroline Herschel provides an example of a woman scientist who was actually paid for her work. She discovered several comets and was the first woman to present a paper at the Royal Society.

Mary Fairfax Somerville experimented in magnetism while advocation for women to receive better education. She, along with Caroline Herschel, was one of the first women elected to the Royal Astronomical Society.

Elizabeth Blackwell was the first qualified woman doctor in the US. She helped found a Women’s Medical College.

Marie Curie is well known as a Nobel Prize winner in physics and chemistry.

Lise Meitner wrote the equation that served as the first step on the path to split the nucleus of the atom.

Emmy Noether helped more precisely define conservation laws in physics. Of course, a man had to read her paper, because, as a woman, she was not allowed to present.

Inge Lehmann was the first to suggest a solid inner core (within the molten core).

Leona Woods Marshall, Katharine Way and Chien-Shiung Wu all contributed to the Manhattan Project.

Grace Hopper was among those working on the Mark I computer.

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin gave the first demonstration that starts are mostly H and He. It became fundamental to astrophysics work.

Rosalind Franklin is famous mainly because she wasn’t credited, even though she did the work that led Watson and Crick to “discover” the double helix.

Deborah S. Jin led the team that produced a new state of matter — fermionic condensate

There are plenty more, but I really just don’t have time to list them all. I do think that the book Athena Unbound is worth a read as it pertains to women in science.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top