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Women in science
Unvisible stars of the scientific sky
Women have played and continue
to play a key role in scientific discoveries and innovations, overcoming prejudices and limitations, and demonstrating outstanding abilities in various fields.
Women
in science
Precedently
Let the bird out

In the past, women faced significant barriers in science, especially in the natural sciences, due to deeply rooted stereotypes about women's roles in society. Many were denied access to education and research, as it was believed that science wasn't meant for them. Some received help and support from men, often having them as assistants or vouching for them to their superiors.
Over time, women overcame these stereotypes, fighting for their place in the world of science. Their efforts and dedication to science paved the way for future generations of women, not only allowing them to enter the scientific community but also enabling them to achieve remarkable feats in diverse fields.
Click on the picture
What should be in a Woman's head?
By the
but many of them were not as widely known as
I'll tell you about some of the equally brigh
middle of the 21st century,
there were
already enough female representatives in science,
Marie Curie or Sofia Kovalevskaya.
but lesser-known ones below.
Marie Curie
or Sofia Kovalevskaya.
To be beautiful
To raise children
Having children
Delicious cooking
Take care of the house
Beautiful dresses
Having a "feminine" hobby
Click on it
Mary Anning
21 May 1799 — 9 March 1847
Mary Anning's gender and social class hindered her full participation in the scientific community of 19th-century Britain, dominated by affluent Anglican men. Nonetheless, Anning became well-known in geological circles in England, Europe, and America, advising on anatomy and fossil discoveries. However, being a woman, she was not allowed to become a member of the Geological Society of London and did not always receive full recognition for her discoveries.
She is known for a range of discoveries primarily in the field of marine fauna from the Jurassic period: the first complete skeleton of an ichthyosaur, the first two complete skeletons of a plesiosaur, the first complete skeleton of a pterosaur, as well as several previously unknown fossilized fish. Her work contributed significantly to fundamental shifts in scientific understanding of prehistoric life and the Earth's history.
Ada Lovelace
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10 December 1815 — 27 November 1852
In one of her comments, Ada describes an algorithm for computing Bernoulli numbers on an analytical engine. It was recognized as the first program specifically designed for implementation on a computer, and for this reason, Ada Lovelace is considered the first programmer, despite Charles Babbage's machine, the Analytical Engine, never being built during Ada's lifetime.
English mathematician. Best known for creating the design of the Analytical Engine, a project conceived by Charles Babbage. She devised the world's first program (for this machine) and introduced the terms "loop" and "working cell," considered the first programmer in history. Ada received a mathematical education because her mother feared she might pursue poetry, like her father, Lord Byron.
Irene Joliot-Curie
12 September 1897 — 17 March 1956
Irene, deeply concerned about women's social and intellectual progress, joins the National Committee of the French Women's Union. Women in France gained the right to vote only in 1944. However, Irene is still denied election to the French Academy of Sciences because 'women are not accepted.' Similarly, her mother, was also rejected in her time. In 1946, Irène Joliot-Curie was appointed as the director of the Radium Institute.
She is a French physicist, physical chemist, and radiobiologist, the first Nobel laureate was the child of Nobel laureates: Pierre Curie and Marie Sklodowska-Curie. In 1935, Irène Joliot-Curie and Frédéric Joliot were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 'their synthesis of new radioactive elements”. The spouses discovered not only the phenomena of artificial radioactivity of light elements but also the first example of positron decay.
Irene Joliot-
Curie
Zinaida Yermolyeva
14 October 1897 — 2 December 1974
In 1942, when Stalingrad became a hub for evacuees, she was sent there to prevent cholera, where the production of cholera bacteriophage was established, administered to 50,000 people daily. From 1952 until the end of her life, she headed the Department of Microbiology and the laboratory for new antibiotics. However, despite her successful career in science, her family life was tragic—both her husbands fell victim to Stalin's repressions.
She studied cholera and discovered the luminescent cholera-like vibrio, named after her. In 1922, Zinaida drank a solution containing the cholera vibrio in order to infect herself and recovered from the illness. In 1942, for the first time in the USSR, penicillin was obtained and actively involved in organizing its industrial production. This saved hundreds of thousands of lives of Soviet soldiers during the Great Patriotic War.
Zinaida
Yermolyeva
Virginia Apgar
7 June 1909 — 7 August 1974
By 1946, anesthesiology had been recognized as a medical specialty with mandatory residency training. In 1949, as extensive research in anesthesiology led to the necessity of establishing a separate department, Dr. Apgar became the first woman to attain the title of professor at Columbia University. However, contrary to her expectations, her colleague E.Papper was appointed as the head of the department.
She is known as the creator of the Apgar Score - a rapid assessment system of a newborn's condition. She entered Columbia University for surgery, but after the first year of training, her mentor Allen Whipple, concerned that career and economic prospects for female surgeons would be dire during the Great Depression, suggested she pursue anesthesiology instead of surgery.
R
Respiration - breathing movements
A
Activity (Muscle Tone) - movement activity, muscle tone
G
Grimace (Response to Stimulation) - facial response to stimulation
P
Pulse (Heart Rate) - heart rate
A
Appearance - skin color
Virginia
Apgar
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Rita Levi-Montalcini
22 April 1909 — 30 December 2012
A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1966 and the National Academy of Sciences in the USA in 1968, where she became the tenth woman to be elected in its entire history. In 1974, despite being an atheist, she became a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (and the first woman in the history of the academy). She was also a foreign member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1989 and the Royal Society of London in 1995.
She is an Italian neurobiologist, the Nobel Prize laureate in Physiology or Medicine in 1986, which she received together with S. Cohen for the discovery of growth factors (nerve). In 1936, Rita became an assistant to physiologist G.Levi. However, soon after the introduction of anti-Semitic laws by Mussolini's government, which prohibited Jews from pursuing academic and professional careers, she was dismissed from her position. In 1943, she fled with her family to Florence and returned to Turin after the end of the war.
Rita Levi-
Montalcini
Chien Shiung Wu
31 May 1912 — 16 February 1997
This experiment, now known as the 'Wu experiment,' was carried out under her guidance in 1956 and demonstrated that the law of parity conservation does not hold true in weak interactions. The scientific community initially greeted this result with skepticism; however, replicating experiments, both similar to Wu's setup and fundamentally different, confirmed the results she obtained. Later, Lee and Yang were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, while Wu was left without an award...
She participated in the Manhattan Project. Experimentally proved the violation of spatial parity in weak interactions, and the experiment was named after her. Due to World War II, Wu stayed in the USA, but faced challenges in employment due to her gender, leading her and her husband to relocate to the Eastern part of the country. In 1956, Lee Tsung-Dao and Yang Chen-Ning suggested to Wu to conduct an experiment to test their new theory of weak interactions, which was built without using the conservation law of parity.
Chien
Shiung Wu
"I don't think that for tiny atoms and nuclei, mathematical symbols, or DNA molecules, there is any difference at all in who handles them—whether it's men or women."
Katherine Johnson
26 August 1918 — 24 February 2020
Thanks to the college president, she became one of three African American students and the only woman selected for integration into the graduate program. In 1953, she was offered a job at NASA. According to the laws of Virginia on racial segregation, Johnson and other African-American women were required to work, eat, and use restrooms that were separate from their white colleagues. Their office was referred to as the 'Colored Computers'. Later, Johnson worked directly with digital computers. Her abilities and reputation for accuracy helped build trust in the new technology.
An American mathematician whose astrodynamics calculations while working at NASA were instrumental in the success of the first and subsequent manned space flights of the United States. The space agency noted her 'historic role as one of the first African American scientists at NASA'. She was known as the "human computer" for her mathematical abilities and her skill in working with celestial trajectories using the technology available at that time. In 2021, Catherine was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. She was the first African American woman to enroll in the graduate program at West Virginia University.
Katherine
Johnson
"During the times when computer technology was considered 'women's work' while engineering was predominantly left to men, 'it really is related to the fact that over time we somehow cease to value the work that women were doing, however necessary it might have been, as much as we possibly should. And it took history to understand that."
4...3...2...1...Start!
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Rosalind Franklin
25 July 1920 — 16 April 1958
She is best known for her work on obtaining X-ray diffraction images of DNA structure. The images she captured were notably clear and laid the groundwork for the conclusions about the structure of DNA later made by James Watson and Francis Crick. The images obtained by Franklin using X-ray diffraction method at that time were described by J.D. Bernal as 'some of the most beautiful X-ray photographs of any substance ever taken up to that time.' However, despite her significant and fundamental contribution to the study of the DNA structure.
Rosalind
Franklin
Franklin's work was undervalued at the time. Additionally, unpublished drafts of her work (written during her struggle against the indifferent attitude of the scientific community at King's College London towards her research) demonstrate that she indeed elucidated the B-form of the DNA helix. The rules for the Nobel Prize prohibit posthumous awards, and since Rosalind died in 1958, she was not eligible to be nominated for the Nobel Prize, which was later awarded to Crick, Watson, and Wilkins in 1962.
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Jocelyn Bell Burnell
15 July 1943 — ......
However, Bell discovered three more signals coming from completely different areas of the sky, and it became clear that these were signals from representatives of a new class of astronomical objects. The 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics press release awarded Hewish for their innovative work in radio astrophysics, specifically mentioning Ryle's work on aperture synthesis and Hewish's pivotal role in the discovery of pulsars. Thus, Hewish was awarded the Nobel Prize alongside Ryle, without including Bell as a co-recipient.
The discoverer of a new class of astronomical objects — pulsars. On the website of the Royal Society in London, she is referred to as one of the most influential scientists in Britain. Bell suggested that these signals were from a point source, a star, but the interval between the pulses was too short for variable stars — just one-third of a second. Hewish considered these signals to be associated with human activity. However, Bell persisted in studying them and managed to convince Hewish to conduct a more detailed investigation, ultimately dispelling the hypothesis of their earthly origin.
Jocelyn Bell
Burnell
In recent years, there has been a
noticeable shift
in the
status of women both in science and society. Efforts to
eliminate gender disparities
and promote
inclusivity have led to significant achievements.
Women are receiving greater
recognition
for the their
contributions
and
capabilities.
As a result, we are
able to hold leadership positions, conduct our own
research, and serve as examples for
future generations.
While challenges persist, the
positive momentum
toward equality and acknowledgment of women's
accomplishments in science and society is
encouraging signs of
progress
and
change.