There were many women scientists like Madame Marie Curie who won prestigious noble prize in the sector of science. Again there were many who are not well recognized in today’s world. We will figure out some of them who contribute as much as any other scientist but they are not that famous.
Yet, each of the women presented here made groundbreaking, insightful, or novel contributions to science. This women from wide area of scientific fields practiced and contributed enough when science was more of a men’s thing. These are top 10 Amazing Women in Science Who Should Be More Famous.
10. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin
Cecilia Helena Payne-Gaposchkin was a British–American astronomer and astrophysicist. Payne is one of the world’s most accomplished and successful astrologists. Payne managed to discover what the Sun was made of, as well as what other stars are made of.
She attended St Paul’s Girls’ School. In 1919, she won a scholarship to Newnham College, Cambridge University, where she read botany, physics, and chemistry. She was not sure which aspect and field of science to choose. Payne made her decision to study astrology and stars after hearing a lecture by famous astronomer Arthur Eddington. At one open night for the public, Cecilia asked so many quality questions, that the staff of the university nicknamed her “The Professor”.
In her PhD, Cecilia managed to explain what stars are made of, including the Sun. However, she was never given proper credit for the discovery, as astronomer Henry Norris Russell persuaded her not to present her conclusion. He later published the discovery on his own behalf. He did mention Cecilia in her paper, but it was Russell who got all the credit for the discovery. Payne was able to accurately relate the spectral classes of stars to their actual temperatures by applying the ionization theory developed by Indian physicist Meghnad Saha. Her thesis established that hydrogen was the overwhelming constituent of the stars (see Metallicity), and accordingly was the most abundant element in the Universe.
In 1956, Cecilia Payne became the first woman to be promoted to full time professor at Harvard’s faculty of Arts and Science.
See also; 10 Famous Scientific Discoveries With Suppressed Female Contributors.
9. Nettie Maria Stevens
Nettie Maria Stevens was an early American geneticist. Stevens performed studies crucial in determining that an organism’s sex was dictated by its chromosomes rather than environmental or other factors.
She graduated from Westfield Normal School in only two years and being graduated with the highest scores in her class. After graduation at the top in her class, she attended Stanford University, where she received her B.A. in 1899 and her M.A. in 1900. Stevens continued her studies in cytology at Bryn Mawr College, where she obtained her Ph.D. She also studied marine organisms at Helgoland and Naples Zoological Station.
At age 39, Stevens began working as a research scientist. Stevens was interested in the process of sex determination. While studying the mealworm, she found that the males made reproductive cells with both X and Y chromosomes whereas the females made only those with X. She concluded that sex is inherited as a chromosomal factor and that males determine the gender of the offspring. . At the time, the chromosomal theory of inheritance was not yet accepted, and it was commonly believed that gender was determined by the mother and/or environmental factors. In the intervening decade prior to her death, she had managed to contribute more to her field than many scientists have with much longer careers.
8. Florence R. Sabin
Florence Rena Sabin was an American medical scientist. She is known for her research on the lymphatic system. She was considered to be one of the leading women scientists of the United States in her time. Sabin was a pioneer for women in science; she was the first woman to hold a full professorship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the first woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and the first woman to head a department at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical.
Sabin earned her bachelor’s degree from Smith College in 1893. She taught high school mathematics in Denver for two years and zoology at Smith for one year in order to earn enough money for her first year of tuition. Sabin attended the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as one of fourteen women in her class.
She did important work on the origins of the lymphatic system. She also investigated the origins of blood vessels, blood cells, and connective tissue. To do this, she perfected the technique of supravital staining, which allowed the study of the living cells. Sabin’s publications include over 100 scientific papers, several book chapters, two books–her Atlas of the Medulla and Midbrain.
In 1951, the Medical School of the University of Colorado dedicated a new biological sciences building in her honor. In 1959 the State of Colorado honored her by placing a statue of Sabin in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol.
7. Maud Leonora Menten
Maud Leonora Menten was a Canadian physician-scientist. Her expertise is on enzyme kinetics and histochemistry. Her name is associated with the famous Michaelis–Menten equation in biochemistry. She did extensive work in medical and biochemical research in the early twentieth century. Much of her work was medical research, but it was founded in her expertise in biochemistry and she made some significant contributions as a biochemist.
She achieved her master’s degree at the University of Toronto in 1907. According to various reports, opportunities were scarce at the time for women who wanted to conduct research in Canada, and Menten left the country in 1907 to join the Rockefeller Institute.
Michaelis and Menten developed an equation to model and predict the rates of an enzyme-driven reaction. Their equation is perhaps the oldest, and certainly the best known model of enzyme kinetics: their model set the terminology for all future discussions, so that textbooks now divide the topic into “Michaelis-Menten kinetics” and “Non-Michaelis-Menten kinetics”. But Maud Menten didn’t stop at just one famous equation. Across her career she authored or co-authored about 100 research papers.
In 1998 she was posthumously inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Port Lambton, Canada, where Menten was born, installed a commemorative bronze plaque about her in 2015.
6. Ada Lovelace
Augusta Ada King-Noel, Countess of Lovelace was an English mathematician and writer. She was the first to recognize that the computing machine Charles Babbage had made had applications beyond pure calculation, and published the first algorithm intended to be carried out by such a machine. In addition, Ada regarded as the first computer programmer. She was so good at analytic skills that Babbage called her “The Enchantress of Number”.
Ada was taught mathematics from an early age. From early on, Lovelace showed a talent for numbers and language. She received instruction from William Frend, a social reformer; William King, the family’s doctor; and Mary Somerville, a Scottish astronomer and mathematician. Somerville was one of the first women to be admitted into the Royal Astronomical Society.
During a nine-month period in 1842–43, Lovelace translated the Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea’s article on Babbage’s newest proposed machine, the Analytical Engine. With the article, she appended a set of notes. Lovelace’s notes even had to explain how the Analytical Engine differed from the original Difference Engine. Ada Lovelace’s notes were labelled alphabetically from A to G. In note G, she describes an algorithm for the Analytical Engine to compute Bernoulli numbers. It is considered the first published algorithm ever specifically tailored for implementation on a computer. Lovelace’s ideas about computing were so far ahead of their time that it took nearly a century for technology to catch up.
During the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Defense developed a high-order computer programming language to supersede the hundreds of different ones then in use by the military that was named after Ada.
5. Marguerite Perey
Marguerite Catherine Perey was a French physicist. She is a student of Marie Curie. Marguerite Perey discovered the chemical element francium in 1939. Francium was the last element ever discovered in a natural source.
In 1929 she qualified with a chemistry diploma from Paris’s Technical School of Women’s Education. She received a PhD from the Sorbonne in 1946.
Perey spent a decade sifting out actinium from all the other components of uranium ore. Perey first noticed that the actinium she purified was emitting unexpected radiation. After further study she was able to isolate this new element which she named “francium” for France. Francium was the last naturally occurring element to be discovered, and the least stable of all the naturally occurring elements. This something that could only be done with exacting technique and years of experience. The fact that a lab assistant could prepare the samples and make a discovery shouldn’t be surprising, but the fact that she would get the credit is.
4. Esther Lederberg
Esther Lederberg was an American microbiologist. She developed basic techniques that have gone a long way towards helping scientists understand how genes work. Her contributions include the discovery of the bacterial virus λ, the transfer of genes between bacteria by specialized transduction, the development of replica plating, and the discovery of the bacterial fertility factor F.
Esther attended Evander Child’s High School in the Bronx. In 1942, at the age of 24, on completing her undergraduate degree, Esther was awarded a distinction, and two years later she won a fellowship to Stanford University to take a master’s course in genetics. In 1945 Esther spent the summer studying with Cornelius Van Niel at the Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University.
Esther’s first major achievement was her discovery of the lambda phage when completing her doctorate in 1950. In addition to discovering the lambda phage Esther invented the replica plating technique. Devised by her in 1951, this method enables scientists to replicate bacteria colonies on a series of agar plates with exactly the same spatial configuration. Joshua her husband received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discovering that bacteria can mate and exchange genes. Much of this could not have been achieved without Esther who was more adept at experimental work than he was. Her isolation of the Lambda phage and her discovery of its genetic replication process, as well as her innovative replica plating technique, were clearly crucial to Joshua’s research.
3. Kathleen Lonsdale
Dame Kathleen Lonsdale was an Irish crystallographer. She had a profound influence on the development of X-ray crystallography and related fields in chemistry and physics. Very few have made so many important advances in so many different directions. In 1945, Lonsdale was the first woman, along with microbiologist Marjory Stephenson, admitted as a fellow to the Royal Society.
She studied at Woodford County High School for Girls, then transferred to Ilford County High School for Boys to study mathematics and science, because the girls’ school did not offer these subjects. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Bedford College for Women in 1922, graduating in physics with an MSc from University College London in 1924.
In 1929, that the benzene ring is flat by using X-ray diffraction methods to elucidate the structure of hexamethylbenzene. She was the first to use Fourier spectral methods while solving the structure of hexachlorobenzene in 1931. Lonsdale worked on the synthesis of diamonds. She was a pioneer in the use of X-rays to study crystals. Lonsdale provided the first experimental proof of the planarity of the benzene ring, the geometry of which was uncertain at the time. This finding provided a major foundation for organic chemistry as we know it today. Lonsdale also helped confirm the concept of σ and π molecular orbitals by measuring their dimensions experimentally.
There are buildings named in her honor at University College London, at the University of Limerick, and at Dublin City University. She was elected as the first woman president of the International Union of Crystallography.
2. Emmy Noether
Amalie Emmy Noether was a German mathematician. Her expertise is in abstract algebra and theoretical physics. Noether can be called mother of modern mathematics. She completely rewrote the books on so many mathematical concepts that the adjective Noetherian is found in several different concentrations within mathematics. She was described by Albert Einstein as the most important woman in the history of mathematics.
Emmy developed the theories of rings, fields, and algebras. In physics, Noether’s theorem explains the connection between symmetry and conservation laws. Noether’s work in abstract algebra and topology was influential in mathematics, while in physics Noether’s work is used in the study of black holes, objects that were still science fiction for decades after her death.
Though she was a lecturer of University of Göttingen, she faces many problem in her study time. Noether was only allowed to audit classes rather than participate fully, and required the permission of individual professors whose lectures she wished to attend. Despite these obstacles, on 14 July 1903 she passed the graduation exam at a Real gymnasium in Nuremberg.
Noether’s work continues to be relevant for the development of theoretical physics and mathematics and she is consistently ranked as one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century. A dark side lunar crater is named for her, as well as the minor planet Noether.
1. Lise Meitner
Meitner was an Austrian-Swedish physicist .her expertise is on Radioactivity and nuclear physics. Lise Meitner and his longtime collaborator Otto Hahn discovered nuclear fission of uranium. Einstein praised her as “German Marie Curie”.
Meitner’s earliest research began at age 8, when she kept a notebook of her records underneath her pillow. She was particularly drawn to math and science, and first studied colors of an oil slick, thin films, and reflected light. Meitner studied physics and went on to become the second woman to obtain a doctoral degree in physics at the University of Vienna in 1905.Then she went to Berlin, where she met physics heavyweight Max Planck. Planck was notorious for turning away female students, but he begrudgingly allowed Meitner into his lectures. A year later he made her a research assistant to chemist Otto Hahn, with whom she made several groundbreaking discoveries.
She worked together with Hahn for 30 years, each of them leading a section in Berlin’s Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry. Hahn and Meitner collaborated closely, studying radioactivity, with her knowledge of physics and his knowledge of chemistry. In 1918, they discovered the element protactinium. She and Otto Hahn, the director of the KWI, undertook the so-called “transuranium research” program. This program eventually led to the unexpected discovery of nuclear fission of heavy nuclei in December 1938, half a year after she had left Berlin. In 1944, Hahn was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his research into fission, but Meitner was ignored, partly because Hahn downplayed her role ever since she left Germany. Meitner discovered the radiation less transition known as the Auger effect in 1923, which is named for Pierre Victor Auger, a French scientist who discovered the effect two years later.
In 1912 the research group Hahn–Meitner moved to the newly founded Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institute (KWI) in Berlin-Dahlem, south west in Berlin. She worked without salary as a “guest” in Hahn’s department of Radiochemistry. She served as a nurse handling X-ray equipment in World War I. In 1926, Meitner became the first woman in Germany to assume a post of full professor in physics, at the University of Berlin. In 1935, as head of the physics department of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry in Berlin-Dahlem.
She received jointly with Hahn the Max Planck Medal of the German Physical Society in 1949, and in 1955 she was awarded the first Otto Hahn Prize of the German Chemical Society. Meitner received 21 scientific honors and awards for her work. In 1997, element 109 was named meitnerium in her honor. She is the first and so far only non-mythological woman thus honored.