L'Oréal's For Women in Science Program is sponsoring a new UK website where you can vote for the most influential woman scientist. The candidates span more than a thousand years* and a wide range of scientific specialties:
- Mary Anning (1799-1847), paleontologist and "the greatest fossilist the world ever knew"
- Hertha Ayrton (1854-1923), mathematician, electrical engineer and suffragette
- Jocelyn Bell Burnell (1943- ), astrophysicist who discovered the first radio pulsars
- Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910), first woman to graduate from medical school
- Linda Buck (1947-), biologist who helped figure out how the human olfactory (smell) system works
- Annie Jump Cannon (1863-1941), astronomer who studied the spectra of the stars
- Rachel Carson (1907-1964), biologist who campaigned for the environment
- Gerty Cori (1896-1957), biochemist who studied energy metabolism in the human body
- Marie Curie (1867-1934), physicist and chemist who studied radioactivity
- Ann Dowling, professor of mechanical engineering who works on "boys stuff - aeroplanes, submarines and oil exploration"
- Gertrude Elion (1918-1999), innovative pharmacologist who produced new drugs for leukemia, malaria, and herpes
- Dian Fossey (1932-1985), expert of the great apes in Rwanda, who was murdered because by poachers
- Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958), X-ray crystallographer whose work was important in determining the structure of DNA
- Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836-1917), pioneering physician and campaigner for women's rights
- Sophie Germain (1776-1831), mathematician who was forced to take on the identity of a man
- Maria Goeppert Mayer (1906-1977), physicist who studied the structure of the atomic nucleus
- Jane Goodall (1934- ), expert on chimpanzee behavior and advocate for wildlife conservation
- Alice Hamilton (1969-1970), doctor and social reformer who founded the science of occupational medicine
- Caroline Herschel (1750-1848), astronomer who discovered comets and stars, first woman (along with Mary Somerville) awarded membership in the Royal Society
- Grace Hopper (1906-1992), pioneer computer scientist and Rear Admiral in the US Navy
- Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994), one of the main founders of protein crystallography
- Hypatia of Alexandria (370-415), mathematician and astronomer who was killed by a mob, who "felt threatened by her scholarship and scientific knowledge"
- Irene Joliot-Curie (1897-1956), daughter of Pierre and Marie Curie who discovered artificially created radioactivity
- Hedy Lamarr (1913-2000), actress and inventor of "frequency hopping" method that is used in modern communication technology
- Rita Levi-Montalcini (1909 - ), biologist who first isolated nerve grown factor
- Kathleen Lonsdale (1903-1971), crystallographer and first woman elected a Fellow of the Royal Society
- Ada, Countess Lovelace (1915-1852), founder of scientific computing
- Barbara McClintock (1902-1992), geneticist who discovered "jumping genes"
- Anne McLaren (1927-2007), geneticist who "paved the way for development of in vitro fertilisation"
- Lise Meitner (1878-1968), physicist who described nuclear fission
- Maria Mitchell (1818-1889), pioneering astronomer
- Christiane Nusslein Volhard (1942 - ), developmental biologist and Director of the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Biology
- Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), nurse and noted statistician, who was the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society
- Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (1900-1979), astronomer who showed the sun is mainly composed of hydrogen
- Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), respected mycologist and children's book author
- Emily Roebling (1844-1903), "silent engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge"
- Nancy Rothwell (1957- ), neuroscientist who studies brain injury
- Mary Somerville (1780-1872), "the first popular science writer"
- Rosalyn Yalow (1921-), "medical physicist" who "won a Nobel prize for her work developing the radioimmunoassay technique"
* But mostly from the 19th and 20th centuries.
** I can't actually get the "Vote Now" button to work. Maybe the site doesn't like Macs? or maybe you have to be in the UK? I don't know.
(via The Telegraph)
Image: "Miss Mary Anning, the celebrated geologist of Lyme Regis"
Tags: women in science