Who are famous female scientists?
The work of scientists who have dedicated their lives to shed light into discoveries like non other such as, Jane Goodall, Bibha Chowdhuri, Wang Zhenyi, Idelisa Bonnelly, Ada Lovelace, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Nina Tandon, sometimes goes unnoticed but here we recognize the greatness of it all.
Remarkable women have walked this Earth changing our lives constantly, yet they haven’t always had the recognition they deserve.
According to STEM Women, today there are only 35% of women in the world working in any of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), but fortunately enough, this number is growing every year.
In this article, we will explore the topic of female scientists.
Who were these life changing women? Who are they now and what do they do?
Jane Goodall is that kickass lady who lived with chimpanzees for years in Tanzania. She is an English scientist born in 1930’s and when she was still in her 20s, she moved to Tanzania so she could investigate the chimpanzees.
Goodall was able to create a special connection to a group of chimpanzees that were in a conservation area, and she discovered various social complexities that the chimps had in the group.
She was the first scientist to ever record chimpanzees eating meat, she realized they had their own “language” with different sounds, and that these intelligent animals even were prone of using tools.
Jane Goodall has left quite a footprint in the animal kingdom and today her foundation, the Jane Goodall Institute, fights for ecological preservation.
Mary Anning was a woman from Great Britain, born in 1799 (not the greatest time for women to want to be scientists), and her area of research was paleontology.
This badass woman came from a family of poverty. Her family was dedicated to collecting and selling fossils until one day, a friend of the family’s, helped them make a big auction for their discoveries.
Mary started becoming a total pro at collecting and finding fossils throughout the years, and she helped find the first specimen of the ichthyosaur fossils (a sea reptile that looks like an angry dolphin).
Her personal discovery, nevertheless, were the fossils of the plesiosaurs. She was the first person to discover this reptile.
Chowdhuri was an amazing physicist who was born in India in 1913. She was able to work with the Nobel Prize winner for physics in 1948, Patrick M.S. Blackett.
She studied in the Bose Institute, and while studying there, she was the only female student of her class. She then did research in the Institute, but short after, she was recruited as the first female physicist in TIFR (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) in her country.
She worked with nuclear power, particles, and cosmic rays.
In a time where women scientists were not considered as valuable as they should, this fascinating woman was able to work in the area she loved at a national and international level.
The story of Wang Zhenyi takes us back to the Qing Dynasty (late 1700s). This woman was born in a time when she had to work her butt off in order to educate herself in maths, astronomy and other sciences.
She loved reading since she was a child, and was able to see many place of China because her used to take her on various trips where she could feed herself with the knowledge of other scholars.
Wang Zhenyi was a brilliant woman who wrote an article called Dispute of the Procession of Equinoxes, which described how to calculate the manner in which equinoxes move.
She loved doing research about lunar eclipses, solar eclipses and the movement of the stars. In terms of mathematics, she was astoundingly good at trigonometry and she studied it incessantly.
Idelisa Bonnelly is an incredible marine biologist from Dominican Republic and she was born in 1931. She had always loved the ocean and the creatures living within, so she moved to the US in order to study marine biology at the University of Columbia.
She did a Master’s at NYU, then headed back to her country to open the first program for marine biology in the country at the UASD. She founded the National Academy Of Sciences in her country and a sanctuary for humpback whales.
She has been a strong advocate for preservation of marine life and she also founded FUNDEMAR, which is dedicated to create eco-tourism, protect coral reefs and other animals that are in danger of extinction.
The Countess of Lovelace, other than having a super cool name, was an aristocratic girl (daughter of the poet Lord Byron), who, thanks to her mother’s insistence, was able to study mathematics and science.
This was quite bizarre during the 1800s in England, and she was able to develop to an undeniable ability to understand numbers and language.
She became friends with an inventor called Charles Babbage during her teen years and was absolutely captivated by his work. He invented a machine to solve mathematical problems and wrote a journal about a theory of a much more elaborated machine called the analytical engine.
He was a key player in the creation of the computer, but so was Countess Lovelace. Lovelace was asked to translate Babbage’s journals in different languages and she added her own notes on top of his.
She realized that his analytical machine could eventually be able to repeat instructions or what we know today as loops. She also realized that the machine would be able to do codes with numbers, letters, and other symbols.
She was a badass programer before programming even existed!
Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Burnell is an astrophysicist and astronomer from Ireland who was born in 1943. She studied astronomy in the University of Cambridge and she helped create a giant radio that monitored quasars, which are really shiny galactic nucleuses with black holes in them.
She analyzed the data that this radio produced, and realized there were anomalies within the data. At the beginning her team and her believed that those anomalies could be produced by a life form out in space, but they soon realized it was the effect of small stars that couldn’t form black holes.
Some people believe that she was robbed of a Nobel Prize back in 1974, but that didn’t stop her from continuing her research.
Tandon is an admirable woman, that is contemporary to our time, she is a biomedical engineer who is focused on “personalized medicine”.
She is the CEO and one of the founders of Epibone, which is focused on bone repair, tissue repair, and medical engineering. This remarkable scientist did a lot of her research in Columbia University and MIT and used electrical currents to be able to stimulate the growth of cells.
She has worked on detecting lung cancer and is today a professional public speaker. If you’re interested in her work, click here.