1. Rosalind Franklin
Many people haven’t heard of her, or did not know about her until college, and it’s sad because she is the reason we know what the structure of DNA looks like. Watson and Crick stole her x-rays for the structure, and used it so ‘they could be first’. She never received her Noble Prize for her discovery, because she lost her life before the ceremony and also because she was a woman. She still hasn’t received it.
2. Sophie Germain
This bada$$ French mathematician that lived in the 1800s had to publish all of her work under a male pseudonym because she could lose her life if the public knew she was a woman. She won a prize from the Paris Academy of Sciences, but couldn’t even attend the ceremony. She published work in number theory and elasticity.
3. Marian Diamond
She’s an Anatomist that had a very heavy influence in neuroscience.
4. Brenda Miller
She is basically the founder of neuropsychology. She is still actively doing science at 100 years old!
5. Ada Lovelace
Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace was the first programmer in the world. And that is long before the computers were even a thing! She took Charles Babbage’s ideas for a calculating machine in the mid-1800s, and wrote hypothetical programs on her “Analytical Engine”. She is widely recognized as the mother of computer science.
6. Dr. Fe Del Mundo
She became the first woman to attend Harvard medical school, and the first Asian to ever attend it. She actually got in 9 years before Harvard admitted to accepting female students. She advocated for children’s health, and she conducted research on diseases like polio, dengue, and measles.
7. Barbara McClintock
Barbara McClintock was one of the most brilliant minds in the field of genetics. She predicted the mechanism behind transposons without any evidence, even when all of her contemporaries laughed at her and called her hypotheses imaginative and preposterous. What sounded like something completely made-up, it was proven that she was absolutely right. She was awarded a Nobel Prize later.
8. Frances Kathleen Oldham Kelsey
While working for the FDA, she refused to authorize Thalidomide in the United States, and she prevented potentially widespread birth defects across the country by doing so.
9. Hedy Lamarr
Lamarr fled her country and her abusive husband and she went on to pursue an acting career by day. By night, however, she was a genius engineer. Almost entirely self-taught, she invented many cool, random things in her trailer between movie takes, and she patented a frequency-hopper in 1941 that ensured Allied radio-controlled torpedos couldn’t be detected by the Nazis. Believe it or not, that technology made the way for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.
10. Peggy Whitson
She was a NASA Astronaut, biochemistry researcher, and former NASA Chief Astronaut. She holds a number of records, including most days in space for an American astronaut, and most for any woman in the world.