Famous Women of Science

31 Jan Famous Women of Science

Science has had its share of famous men and women. Many people when asked about famous people in science, would readily reel off the names of many famous men who made and changed the way we perceive the world around us. Since this month is all about Women, let’s take a look at some of the famous women, who changed the face of chemistry.

Let’s start with a name most of us have heard. Marie Curie, the Polish scientist is well known for her work in radioactivity. She is thought of as more of a physicist but is credited with the discovery of two elements, Polonium, and Radium. She is a Nobel laureate.

Elizabeth Arden, is a name we all know, a brand we use. But did you know she has a background as a chemist and is famous in science circles too? Born Florence Nightingale Graham, she is credited with pioneering the scientific formulation and manufacture of cosmetics.

Rosalind Franklin is a lesser-known name in the annals of science but one that deserves to be known. DNA is a word that has become synonymous with Watson and Crick. However, the first image of DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid was first recorded by X-ray crystallographer Franklin, who was later given credit by Watson and Crick. Her results, however, remained unpublished and she received no mention in the Nobel Prize awarded to these two men. Her death in 1958 did not help, and posthumous nomination in Science for Nobel Prize isn’t allowed.

Another lesser-known American physicist was Maria Mayer who was born in Germany. She received the Nobel Prize for suggesting the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus.

In this long list of famous women personalities of Science, we would like to mention the name of Grace Hopper. She was an intuitive mathematician and computer programmer. She was one of the first women to achieve a Ph.D. in mathematics. During World War II she left her job and joined the US Naval Reserves. She was directed to Harvard University to learn how to program Mark I, the first functional computer. She famously coined the term ‘debugging’. She developed COBOL the first programming language which was designed for the common people.

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