In the past, women interested in science did not have an easy road! In some cases science education was not considered “suitable” for women. Sometimes it was hard for them to get hired or publish their findings. Despite these odds, there have been many females throughout history who made huge contributions to science.
JOCELYN BELL BURNELL: ASTRONOMY
Burnell was a graduate student when she discovered the existence of a dense, rapidly spinning neutron star.
ROSALIND FRANKLIN: BIOCHEMISTRY
Franklin used a technique called x-ray crystallography to take the very first photograph of this “mystery molecule” that carries the genetic code of all living things.
MARY ANNING: PALEONTOLOGY
Though entirely self-taught, Mary Anning was one of the most important fossil finders of the early 1800s. She discovered the first nearly complete skeleton of this marine dinosaur, which scientists first thought must be fake because of its “impossibly long neck.”
LENE HAU: PHYSICS
How do you stop something that travels 186,000 miles per second? Most scientists thought you couldn’t, but Danish physicist Lene Hau discovered a way to slow down, and even stop, something we thought must always travel at a constant speed.
ALICE BALL: MEDICINE
Alice Ball was only 23 years old when she developed the first effective treatment for this disease that had been feared since ancient times. Before that, people who caught the disease were sent to an isolated community where they had to stay until they died, so her work changed a lot of lives for the better!
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