Like any other field, science too has been dominated by men throughout history. Nevertheless, there had been some female geniuses who braved the patriarchal system and made some unforgettable contributions in various scientific fields, from Chemistry to Computer Science. Their contributions gave science a new direction. Without these brilliant women, the world would not be the way it is today.
Now check out our list of top 10 famous women scientists in history:
10. Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)
British mathematician Ada Lovelace is considered to be the first computer programmer in the world. Her analysis of the Analytical Engine of Charles Babbage, the forerunner of computer, is said to have had the first ever algorithms. Her articles inspired Alan Turing in his study of modern computers. The programming language developed by US Department of Defense, is named after her.
9. Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994)
Dorothy Hodgkin was an important figure in chemistry and the third woman to win the prestigious Nobel Prize in the discipline. This British biochemist was a pioneer in the field of x-ray crystallography and was able to find and confirm the structures of various biological molecules. They include penicillin, insulin and Vitamin B12. She received the Nobel Prize in 1964.
8. Barbara McClintock (1902-1992)
Although recognition and honors came to her quite late, Barbara McClintock is now regarded as one of the most influential scientists in genetics, perhaps only below Gregor Mendel. McClintock contributed significantly in the field of cytogenetics, and was the first to produce a genetic map for maize. She did extensive studies in the subject, but the scientific world was skeptical about her findings. Later they were recognized, and she eventually won the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1983.
7. Maria Goeppert-Mayer (1906-1972)
This German-born American scientist is one of the most important figures in nuclear physics. Although her favorite subject was mathematics, she later turned to physics. Meyer is known for suggesting the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus. She also worked on the Manhattan Project during the Second World War. She became the second woman, after Madam Curie, to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.
6. Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958)
Although she lived for merely 38 years and was neglected by her colleagues, is an unforgettable name in the history of science. This biophycist played a seminal role in the discovery of the structure of DNA, though she didn’t get the credit she deserved. She produced X-ray diffraction images of DNA which later helped Watson and Crick to find the double helix model of DNA.