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March is Women’s History month. To celebrate the many contributions women have made to Life Science here are 5 of History’s Greatest Female Scientists.


  • Marie Curie 1867-1934

    • Marie is also the only women in history to win Nobel Prizes in two different scientific categories.

    • Along with her husband she first discovered the radioactive elements polonium and radium. She successfully produced radium as a pure metal, proving that new element’s existed beyond a doubt. Element 96, Curium was named after Marie and her husband Pierre.

  • Rita Levi-Montalcini 1909- 2012

    • Despite her father’s disapproval of women getting an education and living during a time when anti-Jewish laws prevented her from being able to work in medical research Rita continued to pursue her dreams.

    • Building a lab in her room and eventually immigrating to the US in the 1950s Rita went on to co-discover Nerve Growth Factor; a protein-like molecule that grows and maintains neuron health in the brain. This discovery earned her the Nobel Prize in 1986.

  • Grace Hopper 1906-1992

    • Not only known for her invention, Admiral Grace Hopper was commissioned into the U.S. Navy Reserve.

    • Creator of the first compiler for computer languages. She developed COBOL (common business-oriented language” which went on to be used worldwide.

  • Rachel Carson 1907-1964

    • Rachel was an American marine biologist best known for her books on the global environmental movement.

    • Her book Silent Springs drew national attention that resulted in a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides.

  • Jocelyn Burnell 1943 (age 74)

    • Unlike many of the women listed above Jocelyn attended a University for her education, The University of Cambridge.

    • In 1967 Jocelyn discovered the first radio pulsars, a highly magnetized rotating neutron star that spins incredibly fast. Unfortunately Burnell wasn’t recognized for her discovery. A Nobel Prize was awarded to her advisor and one of his colleagues.


Was there a woman that inspired your scientific career?


6 Incredible Women Who Dedicated Their Lives To Science  CLICK HERE 

International Day of Women and Girls In Science CLICK HERE 




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