Marie Curie was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize and made history despite the male-oriented science field. She was regarded as one of the brightest and best in her field of work, even when, during their time, it was very challenging to prove a woman's worth in the scientific community.
CNN reports that the United Nations data revealed that scientific researchers were only comprised of less than 30 percent of women. Studies show that this could be due to several factors, including but not limited to women being discouraged from pursuing science.
Pew Research Center said that women are still underrepresented today in various science fields, such as in engineering, computer science, and physical science.
Despite gender discrimination and lack of recognition, many women are still aspiring in these fields, hoping to make historical contributions someday and advance their understanding of the world. Although many of them went underrecognized, still their contribution has helped generations of women in science.
Below are ten women who also made history in science with their helpful contributions that you should know:
Mary Anning (1799-1847)
It is said that Mary Anning, a seaside paleontologist, inspired the children's tongue twister "she sells seashells by the seashore." Her hometown, Lyme Regis in southwestern England, is near the area where several Jurassic fossils can be found.
Even when paleontology was still new, Anning taught herself to excavate and prepare these fossils and provided paleontologists in London the first specimen of an ichthyosaur, fossils she found when she was still 12 years old, according to the University of California Museum of Paleontology.
Alice Ball (1892-1916)
Alice Ball is the first African American chemist who received a master's degree from the University of Hawaii and its first-ever female chemistry professor. She was only 23 years old when she developed a groundbreaking treatment for leprosy, an easily injectable form of chaulmoogra oil used in treating the disease that saved countless lives and was considered the best treatment in the 1940s.
But the president of the university tried to steal the credit since Ball was already dead before she can even publish her studies. Luckily, her supervisor publicly spoke out, and Ball was finally given credit for the lifesaving injection. In the 21st century, Ball's achievement was fully recognized, and February 29 was declared as the "Alice Ball Day" by Hawaii's governor.
Maria Goeppert Mayer (1906-1972)
Maria Goeppert Mayer is the second woman, 60 years after Marie Curie, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963 to work on nuclei architecture, which she won with two other scientists.
She went to the University of Göttingen in Germany, where she got interested in quantum mechanics' exciting field. By age 24, she earned her doctorate in theoretical physics.
Maria moved to America together with her husband, American Joseph Edward Mayer, to work at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Unfortunately, she was not employed by the university, given that the Great Depression was happening during that time, but that did not stop her from continuing to work on physics.
She was also renowned for her work on the separation of uranium isotopes for the atomic bomb project.
Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958)
Rosalind Franklin is a British chemist and the author of the research that first described the basic dimensions of DNA strands, revealing that it was in two matching parts that run in opposite directions. The data from her research was used by James Watson and Francis Crick to study the DNA model and was published separately as supporting data alongside Watson, Crick, and Maurice Wilkins published in Nature.
Many argue that she should have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and the three scientists, but Franklin has died four years before the award. However, she could have been posthumously awarded back then.
Emmy Noether (1882-1935)
Emmy Noether's research helped lay the foundation for modern physics and two critical fields in mathematics. She was considered to be one of the great mathematicians in the 20th century.
The most popular of her works is the Noether Theorem, which laid the groundwork for further work necessary for modern physics and quantum mechanics.
Noether later helped with abstract algebra, the work that other mathematicians most highly regard her. She went on to make several contributions in different fields of science before her death in April 1935.
She was a Jewish woman, so when Adolf Hitler ordered the expulsion of Jews in universities, she saw students in her home. She followed fellow German scientists like Albert Einstein to the United States.
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