To commemorate this week’s International Women’s Day (we’re only a day late), we thought that this time we’d look not at creative artists or political figures, but at accomplished female scientists and mathematicians. These range in time from the 4th century BC to the recent past, all of them women who had to overcome the cultural biases against females in their fields–all inspirational namesakes. Brainy names for brainy babies!
And in the usual nameberry fashion, we’re not aiming to be comprehensive, but focusing as much on noteworthy names as on notable achievements. So apologies to the many Marys, andMaries who don’t appear below..
ALESSANDRA Giliani –14th century Italian anatomist, reputedly the first person to use the injection of colored fluids to trace blood vessels.
DOROTHEA Klumpke was an internationally known astronomer who studied meteorites and broke several gender barriers.
ÉMILIE du Châtenet – Translated Newton’s Principia into French and deduced the conservation of energy.
HAZEL K. Stiebling was one of three nutritionists to develop the Recommended Dietary Allowance in 1941.
HILDEGARD of Bingen (1098-1179) –the earliest woman scientist whose writings have survived.
HYPATIA of Alexandria (370-415) – A Roman woman who, unlike most of her contemporaries, was allowed to study mathematics, astronomy and natural science; was appointed head of the University of Alexandria, and invented several scientific instruments including a hydrometer and an instrument for distilling water.
JACOBINA Félice—a 14th century Italian physician.
MILEVA Maric –one of the first women in Europe to study math and physics; she married fellow student Albert Einstein.
NETTIE Stevens – early American geneticist, among the first to describe the chromosomal basis of sex.
RUZENA Bajcsy—helped create robots that could respond to their environment.
SULAMITH Low Goldhaber researched high-energy particles in the 1950s.
VIRGINIA Apgar – pioneer in anesthesiology among other achievements.!
WINIFRED Goldring – the first woman president of the Paleontological Society.
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