View Full Version : Women Scientists

12-01-06, 17:21
What women scientist do you admire, apart from Marie Curie?

I like the astronomer Caroline Herschel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caroline_Herschel) (1750-1848).


She started out as an amateur, and as such discovered three nebulae, and was the first woman to discover a comet. Because of this, George III began to pay her a salary as her brother's assistant. She discovered a further seven comets, including Encke, from which the Taurid meteor shower is believed to originate.

In 1828 she received a gold medal from the Royal Astronomical Society, which elected her as an honorary member in 1835.

An asteroid and the crater of the moon C. Herschel were named after her:


12-01-06, 17:44
here is a List of female scientists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_female_scientists). I am surprised that so few are listed, but I admit not knowing any of them apart from Marie Curie, so I can't really vote for one. :bluush:

Dutch Baka
12-01-06, 17:50
I don't know anybody from this list, and yeah the list is indeed small... why this thread tsuyoiko?

12-01-06, 17:55
why this thread tsuyoiko?It is something I have been interested in for a while. When I worked as a school librarian, I helped the science department every year on a project with new students. The girls were to find out about a male scientist, and the boys had to research a female scientist, but not Marie Curie. It was quite hard work finding any female scientists, and I have been collecting them ever since! I will post a more comprehensive list soon.

Mars Man
13-01-06, 04:22
Yeah!! Susan Greenfield is my lady !! And I don't have the articles with me at the moment, but in NewScientist, Science, and also in Scientific American, there were write-ups on her being elected to some new post to reach out to the public. And I like the way she looks, too !! I have read a number of articles by her and one of her books.

In a tutorial on gender discrepencies (sp?) in the science fields from a professor at New York University, it was pointed out that the field is not so level, and that perhaps for that reason, we find less women pursuing their research and such to higher degrees. A lot could be said here, I would think. I am still looking into the gender areas.

13-01-06, 12:30
Maciamo, here is a Belgian woman scientist: astronomer Patricia Lampens. She looks for binary stars.

Dutch, here is a Dutch lady scientist: Professor Yvette van Kooyk. She is an immunobiologist researching the mechanisms of HIV infection. You might also find this article (http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_development/issue/articles/2590/the_dutch_case_case_closed/(parent)/12096) interesting.

Mars, one of my other favourites was an American: astronomer Henrietta Leavitt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrietta_Leavitt). She worked on cataloguing variable stars in the Magellanic clouds. Her work paved the way for the first estimates of the size of the universe.

Mars Man
14-01-06, 03:23
Yes lil sis !! THanks a lot . and there's one good book on her, Miss Leavitts's stars--The Untold Story of the Woman Who Discovered How to Measure the Universe by George Johnson; Atlas Books.

We should all make it a point to keep a good focus on the accomplishments by women in the sciences !! :-)

17-01-06, 18:41
there's one good book on her, Miss Leavitts's stars--The Untold Story of the Woman Who Discovered How to Measure the Universe by George Johnson; Atlas Books.I saw that quoted on the wiki article - that's going on my shopping list!

Since I've already mentioned a few astronomers, let's start there. There are lots! Here are a few good ones, past and present.

Annie Cannon (1863-1941) (http://www.sdsc.edu/ScienceWomen/cannon.html) - Cannon worked as a calculator at Harvard College Observatory. She developed a scheme for spectral classification of stars that is still in use today. She became Curator of Astronomical Photographs and then William C. Bond Astronomer, both at Harvard.

France Cordova 1947-) (http://womenshistory.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=womenshistory&zu=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gale.com%2Ffree_resources%2Fch h%2Fbio%2Fcordova_f.htm) - Cordova retrained as an astrophysicist after an already successful career as a writer. She is the youngest person to be chief scientist at NASA, which post she held from 1993-96. She is now chancellor at UCR.

Williamina Fleming (1857-1911) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williamina_Fleming) - Like Cannon, she was a calculator under Pickering. During her career, she discovered 59 nebulae and over 300 variable stars. She was the first American woman to be made an honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society of London.

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (1900-1979) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecilia_Payne-Gaposchkin) - She was the first person to gain a PhD in Astronomy from Harvard. Her thesis showed that hydrogen was the most abundant element in stars. She became Harvard's first female tenured professor, and then its first female head of department. She is considered to have opened the way for women to enter mainstream science.

Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Mitchell) - She was the second woman to discover a comet, for which she received a gold medal from King Frederick VI of Denmark. In 1865 she became the first professor of astronomy at Vassar College. A World War II ship, the SS Maria Mitchell, and Mitchell crater on the moon are named after her.

Vera Rubin (1928-) (http://www2.sjsu.edu/depts/Museum/rubinv.html) - I think she was the first to suggest that galaxies rotate around a centre, and that they are not evenly distributed in the universe. She discovered that stars on the edge of a spiral galaxy move as fast as those near the centre, leading scientists to suggest the existence of dark matter.

Helen Walker (19? -) (http://www.sstd.rl.ac.uk/rascwiag/hjwalker.htm) - Currently a secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society, Walker's main interest is in the dust around stars, which may form planets.