The STEM Heroines
Countless inspiring women have made historic contributions to science and helped advance our understanding of the world around us. Many were not recognised in their lifetimes, but their achievements have helped generations of scientists.
She developed an easily injectable form of the oil that ultimately saved countless lives and became the best treatment for leprosy until the 1940s.
Franklin’s research data was the first to demonstrate the basic dimensions of DNA strands and reveal the molecule was in two matching parts, running in opposite directions.
She made numerous breakthrough discoveries, including the atomic structure of penicillin, the structure of vitamin B12 and the structure of insulin.
She helped develop multiple computer languages and is considered one of the first programmers of the modern computing age.
She studied how genetic characteristics are passed down through generations, eventually uncovering that some genes could be mobile.
She contributed significant advancements to the field of nuclear physics and refused to work on the Manhattan Project because she strongly opposed using fission to create an atom bomb.
NASA astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space, serving as a mission specialist on the space shuttle Challenger in 1983.
Her discovery of artemisinin in the 1970s enabled the creation of antimalarial drugs based on the substance and these have saved millions of lives.
Her physics research helped develop the process for separating uranium metal and developing better instruments to measure nuclear radiation.
She was a pioneer in German astronomy and in 1902, she became the first woman to discover a new comet.
Her work as an astrophysicist led to the explanation of the composition of the sun and star from spectra and she was the first to identify that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe.
She was a palaeontologist who was the first to unearth a complete skeleton of the Plesiosaur and, over the course of her life, discovered the remains of several large vertebrates from prehistoric times.