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34 American Lady Scientists Who Changed The World

You may not have heard of these women, but we owe them so much.

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2. Alice Brown (1857–1948) studied anatomy at Cornell University and later became a prolific novelist, poet, and playwright who often wrote work with scientific themes.


7. Lillian Moller Gilbreth (1878–1972) was a doctor of psychology, best known for revolutionizing management along with her husband and their famously efficient family of 12 children, chronicled by two of their kids in Cheaper by the Dozen.

8. Emma Perry Carr (1880–1972) was an American spectroscopist who taught chemistry at Mount Holyoke College. She was awarded the American Chemical Society's Francis P. Garvan Medal in 1937.

10. Libbie Henrietta Hyman (1888–1969) published the classic five-volume reference work, The Invertebrates. She received gold medals from the Linnean Society of London and the American Museum of Natural History.


11. Roger Arliner Young (1889–1964) was a zoologist and biologist and the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate in zoology. During her long career she studied radiation, paramecium, and hydration and dehydration of living cells.

13. Botanist Matilda Moldenhauer Brooks (b. 1891) attended Harvard and conducted research along with her husband, Sumner Cushing Brooks. She discovered an antidote for carbon monoxide and cyanide poisoning in the '30s.

14. Marie Agnes Hinrichs (b. 1892) was a zoologist who taught at the University of Chicago, Southern Illinois University, and the University of Illinois. She researched the effects of radiation on developing embryos.


15. Roxana ("Roxy") Judkins Stinchfield Ferris (1895–1978) studied botany at Stanford and went on to edit the classic reference work llustrated Flora of the Pacific States. She collected over 14,000 botanical specimens.

18. Hattie Elizabeth Alexander (1901–1968) was a pediatrician and microbiologist known for her work in antibiotic resistance and developing a remedy for Haemophilus influenzae. She was the first woman elected president of the American Pediatric Society.


19. Margaret Mead (1901–1978) was a respected cultural anthropologist whose reports on sex in South Pacific and Southeast Asian cultures had a great impact on the sexual revolution. She was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1979.

20. Barbara McClintock (1902–1992), the 1983 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine (she remains the only woman to receive the prize in that category), was one of the world's most distinguished cytogeneticists throughout her long career.


25. Chien-Shiung Wu (1912–1997) was a Chinese-American physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project and many other experimental physics and radioactive studies. She was the first female president of the American Physical Society.


31. Vera Rubin (b. 1928) is an astronomer known for her work on galaxy rotation rates and dark matter. She has received numerous awards and medals and as of June 9, 2013, has co-authored 114 peer-reviewed research papers.

33. Joyce Jacobson Kaufman (b. 1929) was a chemist who introduced the concept of "conformational topology." She studied as a special student at Johns Hopkins University, which did not normally admit women until 1970. She won numerous awards and honors.