Women are known to be stronger beings than men. They are known for their multi-tasking abilities and brisk management of various activities, at the same time. In earlier days, their role was restricted simply to that of a home maker. However, even at that time, there were some women who managed to make a mark in the male chauvinist society and immortalize their name forever. This includes the most famous female scientists till date, who have significantly contributed to the betterment of the society in an unconventional manner. To find out more about such women, read on.
List of Famous Female Scientists
- Trotula of Salerno was an Italian scientist, who is known for her works in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. She taught men about women's health and wrote books, which were used by physicians for hundreds of years. Trotula suggested the theory that men suffered from fertility issues, which was considered controversial then. She even promoted opiates that dulled the pain of labor during childbirth. However, this was opposed by church, which asked women to suffer the pain of childbirth without medication. Trotula was an important figure in the understanding of women's health. Major works: Passionibus Curandorum or The Diseases of Women
- Marie Curie is one of the most famous women scientists of her time. During 1867 to 1934, she lived in Poland and France, where she attended the Sorbonne. She even received a chemist's license in physics and mathematical sciences. Curie won a Nobel Prize, becoming the first woman ever to be awarded this distinction. She devised a method to isolate radium, to study its properties. This discovery later paved the way for cancer therapy. However, Marie Curie died of leukemia, which is supposed to have been caused by her high exposure to radiation. Major works: Discovery of the elements Radium and Polonium
- Maria Mayer was a German physicist. She is known for determining the shell structure of the atom and the shell configuration, wherein the electrons are positioned. It is her model that is used by most of the teachers within the classroom, to explain the composition of the atom. To the surprise of many, Mayer also assisted on the atomic bomb project and was awarded a Nobel Prize for her contribution in the separation of the isotopes of uranium. Major works: Determining the shell structure of the atom and the shell configuration
- Rachel Carson was basically an important environmentalist who made the society aware of the effects of DDT on crops and water systems. In effect, she was named to the Ecology Hall of Fame and to the Top Twenty Most Influential Scientists and Thinkers for the Twentieth Century. Her books are still read worldwide. Major works: Effects of DDT on crops and water systems
- Gertrude B. Elien was an American scientist, who lived from 1918 to 1999. She is well known for her contributions in cancer research. Ellien is accredited for discovering many anti-cancer drugs. For her efforts, she was even awarded a Nobel Prize. Major works: Discovery of anti-cancer drugs
- Jane Goodall is a well known woman scientist. She was born in England and is acknowledged for her work with the African Gombe chimpanzees for over thirty years. She is an ecologist, who was the first to discover the use of tools amongst animals. Even now, she spends around three hundred days a year lecturing and sensitizing young people to improve the environment. Major works: Work onAfrican Gombe chimpanzees
- Rachel Zimmerman is a Canadian scientist, who invented the Blissymbol Printer. It is a device that allows non-speaking people, such as those afflicted with severe physical disabilities like cerebral palsy, to communicate. It helps the user to correspond with the help of a program by pointing to various symbols on a main page board with a special pad. On touching the symbol, the "Blissymbol Printer" translates them into a written language, which can be communicated via e-mail. Major works: Blissymbol Printer
- Virginia Apgar was born in Westfield, New Jersey. She is known for developing the Apgar Newborn Scoring System, which significantly increased the infant survival rates. She even indicated that the usage of some anesthetics during childbirth can negatively affect the infants. She pioneered anesthesiology and also helped to refocus the March of Dimes Organization, from polio to birth defects. Major works: Apgar Newborn Scoring System
- Rosalind Franklin was born in 1920. From 1951 to1953, she worked on the DNA molecule. She took photographs of the B version of the molecule, with the help of x-ray crystallography. Though her role largely went unacknowledged during her lifetime, she was later acknowledged for discovering the helical structure of DNA. Major works: Discovered the helical structure of DNA.
- Alessandra Gillani was born in 1307. She was a surgeon and anatomist. While working as an assistant to Mondino de Luzzi, who is well known as the ‘Father of Anatomy’, she specialized in dissections for demonstrations and research. She pioneered the technique of injecting colored liquids to trace the circulatory system. Major works: Discovery of blood vessels and circulation