Today, February 11 is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science and ten women who have made impact in scientific discoveries have been selected.
This day, set aside by resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on 22 December, 2015, recognizes the critical role women and girls play in science and technology.
The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is implemented by UNESCO and UN Women, in collaboration with intergovernmental agencies and institutions, as well as civil society partners, that aim to promote women and girls in science.
The day’s purpose is to promote full and equal access to participation in science for women and girls
The first on the list of ten selected women and girls that have made scientific discoveries is:
1. Marie Curie 1867-1934
Marie Curie is an inspirational x-ray and radiotherapy scientist. Through her discoveries, she has saved many lives. Marie’s research was of vital importance in the development of x-rays in surgery.
Born in Poland, the physicist and chemist won the Nobel Prize twice! Once in 1903 with her husband Pierre and another in 1911.
2. Vera Rubin, 1928 – present
Vera Rubin first observed evidence of dark matter?
The pretty incredible lady is an American astronomer whose contributions led to the uncovering of dark matter in galaxies. Her data measured the orbital velocities of interstellar matter in galaxies.
3. Chien Shiung Wu, 1912-1997
Dr. Chien-shiung Wu was the world’s foremost experimental physicists
Chien’s was in her early 30s when her work on nuclear fission took off. She was recruited by the US government to work on a project during the war and she remained there retiring in 1981.
4. Nettie Stevens, 1861-1912
Nettie Steven will forever be remembered as the first person to discover the XY chromosome.
Nettie was the first geneticist to discover that sex-determination in animals was due to XY chromosomes and not to factors such as environment. She earned her PHD when she was 39 at Bryn Mawr College.
5. Ida Tacke, 1896-1978
Ida was a German chemist and physicist who was married to Walter Noddack. Not only was she the first to mention that nuclear fission was possible, but she was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry three times.
6. Lise Meitner, 1878-1968
Lise Meitner, discovered nuclear fission but refused to use it for weapons.
Although she was overlooked by the Nobel Prize committee. Lise was part of the team that discovered nuclear fission. She was an Austrian physicist.
7. Jane Goodall, 1934 – present
Jane Goodall is a primate expert and environmental activist. She’s made loads of discoveries in more than 35 years of work, but she importantly discovered that Chimpanzees make their own tools. Until then, scientists had thought only humans made tools.
8. Dorothy Hodgkin, 1910-1994
Dorothy Hodgkin discovered molecular structure of vitamin B12 and received Nobel Prize in 1964.
Dorothy was a British biochemist who won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing protein crystallography. Amongst her many discoveries, she confirmed the structure of penicillin and then the structure of vitamin B12.
9. Elizabeth Blackburn, 1948 – present
Nobel Prize Winner, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn discovered the DNA predictor of longetivity.
10. Rosalind Franklin, 1920-1958
Rosalind Franklin was an English chemist who made important contributions to the understanding of molecular structures of DNA, viruses, graphite and coal.
Without her, proving the structure of DNA would have been a much tougher job, but she sadly died before it was considered fully proven and was so never nominated for a Nobel Prize.