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The most famous female scientists

The most famous female scientists

Humanity develops thanks to science. One of the first computer languages ​​was named after her.

In any period of history, it is not difficult to find advanced and talented women scientists who have moved science along with men. Therefore, it is time to remember the most famous women scientists.

Maria Sklodowska-Curie (1867-1934). The life of this woman was unique. Radioactivity has become a part of her life, in the literal and figurative sense of the word. Even today, almost 80 years after the death of the scientist, her documents are so "glowing" that they can be viewed only with the use of protective equipment. A Polish emigrant at the beginning of the 20th century, together with her husband Pierre, worked on obtaining such radioactive elements as radium, polonium and uranium. At the same time, scientists did not use any protection, without even thinking about what harm these elements can cause to a living person. Long-term work with radium led to the development of leukemia. For carelessness, Marie Curie paid with her life, and in fact she even wore an ampoule with a radioactive element on her chest, as a kind of talisman. This woman's scientific heritage made her immortal. Maria received the Nobel Prize twice - in 1903 in physics with her husband and in 1911 in chemistry herself. Having discovered radium and polonium, the scientist worked at a special Radium Institute, studying radioactivity there. Marie Curie's work was continued by her daughter, Irene. She also managed to win the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958). Few know who the actual DNA discovery belongs to. By the way, this honor belongs to the English biophysicist, the humble Englishwoman Rosalind Franklin. For a long time, her merits remained in the shadows, and everyone heard the achievements of the scientist's colleagues, James Watson and Francis Crick. But it was precisely the woman's precise laboratory experiments, and her X-ray image of DNA that showed the sinuous structure that made the work so significant. Franklin's analysis allowed the work to be carried to its logical conclusion. In 1962, pundits received the Nobel Prize for their discovery, but the woman died of cancer 4 years earlier. Rosalind did not live to see her triumph, and this prestigious award is not awarded posthumously.

Liz Meitner (1878-1968). A native of Vienna, she took up physics under the leadership of leading European luminaries. In 1926, Meitner managed to become the first female professor in Germany, a title she was awarded by the University of Berlin. In the 1930s, a woman was engaged in the creation of transuranium elements, in 1939 she was able to explain the splitting of the atomic nucleus, 6 years before the atomic bombings of Japan. Meitner, along with a colleague, Otto Hahn, conducted research, proving the possibility of nuclear fission with the release of a large amount of energy. However, the results of the experiments could not be developed, since a difficult political situation developed in Germany. Meitner fled to Stockholm, refusing to cooperate with America to develop new weapons. In 1944, Otto Hahn received the Nobel Prize for his discovery of nuclear decay. Prominent scientists believed that Liz Meitner was worthy of the same, but due to intrigue she was simply "forgotten". Element 109 of the periodic table was named in honor of the famous woman scientist.

Rachel Carson (1907-1964). In 1962, the book "Silent Spring" was published. Based on government reports and scientific research, Carson described in her work the harm that pesticides cause to human health and the environment. This book has become a wake-up call for humanity, spawning environmental movements around the world. The chartered zoologist and marine biologist has unexpectedly become an eloquent ecologist. It all started back in the 1940s, when Carson, along with other scientists, raised concerns about the government's efforts to use strong poisons and other chemicals in the fields to combat pests. The title of her main book, Silent Spring, comes from Rachel's fear of waking up one day and not hearing the birdsong. After publication, the book became a bestseller, despite threats to the author from chemical companies. Carson died of breast cancer before she could see how important her work was in the fight to save our planet's nature.

Barbara McClintock (1902-1992). This woman dedicated her life to researching the cytogenetics of maize. In his research, the scientist found out that genes can move between different chromosomes, that is, the genetic landscape is not as stable as previously thought. McClintock's work in the 1940s and 1950s on genes jumping and genetic regulation was so bold and innovative that no one believed in them. For a long time, the scientific world refused to take McClintock's research seriously, only in 1983 Barbara received the long-deserved Nobel Prize. The conclusions made by the scientist formed the basis of the modern understanding of genetics. McClintock helped explain how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics and that evolution does not happen in leaps and bounds.

Ada Lovelace (Byron) (1815-1852). Computer scientists around the world consider this woman one of the founders of their world. Ada inherited love for the exact sciences from her mother. Having come out, the girl met Charles Babbage, who was a professor at Cambridge and developed his own computer. However, the scientist did not have enough money to create it. But Ada, having become the wife of Lord Lovelace, enthusiastically gave herself up to science, considering it her true vocation. She studied Babbage's machine, describing, in particular, algorithms for calculating the Bernoulli number on it. In fact, it was the first program that could be implemented on Babbage's machine, a huge calculator. Although the machine was never assembled during Ada's lifetime, she went down in history as the first programmer in history.

Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910). Today, many girls graduate from medical school, although getting there is not an easy task. But in the middle of the 19th century, such educational institutions were simply not ready to accept women into their ranks. American Elizabeth Blackwell spontaneously decided to pursue a medical degree in hopes of becoming more independent. Suddenly, she faced many obstacles, it was difficult not only to go to college, but also to study there. However, in 1849, Elizabeth received her degree, becoming the first female doctor of medicine in American history. But her career stalled - there was no hospital that would want to have a woman doctor in its ranks. As a result, Blackwell opened her own practice in New York, not without obstacles from colleagues. In 1874, Elizabeth established a medical school for women in London with Sophia Jax-Blake. After retiring from medicine, Blackwell devoted herself to reform movements, campaigning for prevention, sanitation, family planning, and women's rights.

Jane Goodall (born 1934). Although man considers himself the crown of nature and the supreme being, there are many traits that make us akin to animals. This is especially evident when it comes to primates. Thanks to the work of primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall, humanity has taken a fresh look at chimpanzees, and we have discovered common evolutionary roots. The scientist was able to identify complex social connections in monkey communities, their use of tools. Goodall spoke about the widest range of emotions that primates experience. The woman devoted 45 years of her life to studying the social life of chimpanzees in a National Park in Tanzania. Goodall became the first researcher to give her test subjects names rather than numbers. She showed that the line between humans and animals is very thin, you need to learn to be kinder.

Hypatia of Alexandria (370-415). Ancient women scientists were very rare, because in those days, doing science was considered exclusively a man's business. Hypatia received her education from her father, mathematician and philosopher Theon of Alexandria. Thanks to him, as well as her flexible mind, Hypatia became one of the most prominent scientists of her time. The woman studied mathematics, astronomy, mechanics and philosophy. Around 400, she was even invited to lecture at the Alexandria School. The brave and intelligent woman even participated in urban politics. As a result, disagreements with the religious authorities led to the fact that the fanatical Christians killed Hypatia. Today she is considered the patroness of science, which protects her from the onslaught of religion.

Maria Mitchell (1818-1889). Among famous astronomers, the name of this woman can hardly be found. But she became the first American woman to work professionally in this field. With the help of a telescope, Maria discovered a comet in 1847, officially named after her. For this discovery, she was even awarded a gold medal, as a result, Mitchell was awarded such an honor second after Caroline Herschel, the first woman astronomer in history. In 1848, Mitchell became the first female member of the American Academy of Arts and Science. The scientist in her works was engaged in drawing up tables of the positions of Venus, she traveled across Europe. Thanks to Mitchell, the nature of sunspots was explained. In 1865 Maria became professor of astronomy. Nevertheless, despite her fame in the scientific world, she always remained in the shadow of her male colleagues. This led to the fact that the woman fought for her rights, as well as for the abolition of slavery.


Watch the video: Famous Female Scientists - 14 Greatest Female Scientists in History (January 2021).