I bet you didn’t know that there are quite a few inspiring women of science who truly revolutionized some important aspects of the science world. Whether it’s chemistry, astronomy, physics, mathematics, biology, a lot of amazing, smart and hardworking women have made major contributions to the entire science world. I believe that everyone should know at least a thing or two about these fantastic and inspiring women of science, because their work was, is, and will be an inspiration for men and women everywhere.
1. Marie Curie
One of the most well-known inspiring women of science is, without any doubt, Marie Curie. Everyone must have herd something about this amazing woman. She was a Polish physicist and chemist and she’s extremely famous for her pioneering research in radioactivity. She was also the first woman to win a Nobel Prize; she actually won two of them, the Nobel Prize in Physics, which she shared with her husband Pierre Curie and with another physicist Henry Becquerel in 1903 and the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, of which she was the sole winner in 1911. She developed a theory of radioactivity; she also discovered techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes and two new elements, polonium and radium.
2. Josephine Cochrane
This amazing woman was the inventor of the first practical mechanical dishwasher. In 1886 she said, "If nobody else is going to invent a dishwashing machine, I'll do it myself!" And so she did. Seven years later, she presented her invention at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago and won the highest prize for "best mechanical construction, durability and adaptation to its line of work." She was a pretty wealthy woman and she started the Garis-Cochran Manufacturing Company, which became part of KitchenAid, which later became part of Whirlpool.
3. Maria Mitchell
Maria Mitchell was the first female professional astronomer in America, who discovered a comet in 1847, and as a result, that comet is now known as the "Miss Mitchell's Comet." For her discovery, she received a gold medal from King Frederick VII of Denmark. I particularly love what the writing on the medal said: Not in vain do we watch the setting and rising of the stars.
4. Irene Joliot-Curie
This fantastic woman was a world renowned chemist, physicist and even a politician. She was the daughter of Pierre and Marie Curie and just like her parents, she, along with her husband, also won a Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. Her research on the action of neutrons on the heavy elements was an important step in the discovery of uranium fission.
5. Ada Lovelace
This amazing and inspiring woman was an English mathematician and writer. She was most famous for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, called the Analytical Engine. Because of her amazing work, she is often considered the world's first computer programmer. Babbage was so impressed by Lovelace's intellect and analytic skills that he called her "The Enchantress of Numbers."
6. Caroline Hershel
Caroline Hershel was a German-British astronomer. She, along with her brother, astronomer Sir William Herschel, discovered several comets and in particular, the periodic comet 35P/Herschel-Rigollet, which bears her name. In 1781, William, helped by Caroline, discovered Uranus and on August 1, 1786, Caroline discovered her first comet and became history's first woman with this distinction, her comet being known as the "first lady's comet." Pretty amazing, huh?
7. Hypathia of Alexandria (sec. IV AD)
This fantastic woman of science was a mathematician and a philosopher and the daughter of Theon, the last known director of the Library of Alexandria. She was also the first woman to make a substantial contribution to the development of mathematics, she became head of the Platonist school at Alexandria in about 400 AD and she lectured on mathematics and philosophy. The movie Agora (2009) is actually a tribute to this amazing woman. Have you seen it?
So, there you go, 7 of the most inspiring and amazing women of science who really amazed me. Do you know any other fantastic women who made some significant contributions to the development of the science world? Please, tell me about them!