Articles (Women in Science)

Katherine Johnson: NASA’s Human Computer
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

The African–American physicist, space scientist, and mathematician Katherine Johnson was born in 1918 in a small town in West Virginia, USA.


Dr. Mariam Matar: A Much Needed Arab Woman Role Model
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

Dr. Mariam Matar, the Emirati scientist, is one of the UAE’s finest public servants. After working in several public health positions, Matar launched a series of outreach initiatives, including “UAE Free of Thalassemia 2012”. She has also launched the UAE Down’s Syndrome Association in 2005 and the UAE Genetic Diseases Association in 2006, through which she has been able to spread awareness regarding the risks of genetic diseases and specifically Thalassemia(1), which is a common genetic disorder in the UAE.


Wangari Maathai: The Green Belt Movement
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist and feminist, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, making her the first African woman to receive the Prize for her actions to promote sustainable development, democracy, and peace. She was the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree from the University of Nairobi, where she also taught veterinary anatomy. She became the Head of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and an Associate Professor, becoming the first woman in the region to hold such positions.


Maria Goeppert–Mayer: Cracking the Nucleus Shell
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

The German physicist and mathematician, Maria Goeppert-Mayer is prominent for her numerous contributions to the field of physics for which she earned the Nobel Prize in 1963. She was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for theoretical physics, and second woman in history to win a Nobel Prize after Marie Curie. She is most famous for proposing the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus—a model of the atomic nucleus that provides a detailed description of the structure of the nucleus in terms of energy levels.


Virginia Apgar: Saving Newborns
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

Virginia Apgar is a scientist who is believed to have changed the face of medicine significantly by her contributions in the field of anesthesiology and neonatology. The American physician is best known for developing the Apgar Newborn Scoring System, also known as the Apgar Score; a simple, quick method for judging newborn viability. The newborn’s appearance color, reflex irritability, muscle tone, and respiration are assessed one minute after birth and again after five minutes; low scores indicate possible health issues. Her test has saved countless infants, laid the foundations of neonatology, and discovered potentially grave conditions. She was one of Columbia University’s first female MDs and one of the first American women to specialize in anesthesia.


Mini Biographies
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

Meet the inspirational polymath Mae Jemison (born 17 October 1956, Alabama, USA): doctor, chemical engineer, professional dancer, Peace Corps volunteer, teacher, and renowned NASA astronaut. She also happens to be the first African American woman to travel in space.


Ruth Benedict
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

Ruth Benedict is an anthropologist whose theories had a profound influence on cultural anthropology, especially in the area of culture and personality. She can be viewed as a transitional figure in the field of anthropology. She studied the relationships between personality, art, language, and culture, insisting that no trait existed in isolation or self-sufficiency.


Mary Somerville: Unraveling the Universe
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

Mary Somerville is a female astronomer and mathematician who played a vital role in the discovery of the planet Neptune, at a time when women’s participation in science was discouraged.


Barbara McClintock: A Groundbreaking Genetics Genius
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

Barbara McClintock revolutionized the field of plant genetics, receiving the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1983 for discovering “mobile genetic elements”. The science of genetics, to which McClintock made groundbreaking contributions, both experimental and conceptual, has come to dominate all of the biological sciences; from molecular biology, through cell and developmental biology, to medicine and agriculture.


Ayah Bdeir:LittleBits Library of Electronics
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

Ayah Bdeir is a woman who is passionate about making hardware accessible to people of all ages and walks of life. She studied computer engineering at the American University of Beirut and went on to earn her Master’s of Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). When she started to learn about electric circuits in university, she realized many people give up on the subject because they found it too hard to understand. From this point onwards she has been on a mission to make that complex idea accessible to all people, whether you are into engineering or not.


Gertrude Elion at the Forefront of AIDS Treatment
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

Gertrude Elion was an American biochemist and pharmacologist well-known for discovering many medications, including medications for HIV/AIDS, herpes, immunity disorders, and leukemia. Elion developed a multitude of new drugs, using innovative research methods that later led to the development of the first drug used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS: Zidovudine (AZT). She and her colleague, George H. Hitchings, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1988.


Alice Catherine Evans and the Safety of Dairy Products
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

Alice Catherine Evans was an outstanding microbiologist who made one of the most medically important discoveries of the 20th century. She is well-recognized for establishing that humans are infected by the once-common, painful disease brucellosis from raw cow and goat milk. Brucellosis, a recurrent disease also known as Malta or undulant fever, causes shooting pain in the joints, fever, and depression. For years, her research findings and results were scorned and ignored because of her gender and because she did not have a doctorate degree. She lobbied successfully for the pasteurization of all milk and lived to see the disease fall into obscurity.


Five Women You Should Follow on Twitter
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

If your social media feed is full of Kardashian news and a stream of duck-faced selfies, you know it is time to make a change. It is time you followed less people, brands, or publications that entertain and aggravate you, and follow more that inspire and motivate you.

Rufaida bint Saad Al-Aslameya: The First Muslim Nurse
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

Arab pioneers in medicine were not only physicians and surgeons, but Arab nurses played a valuable part too. One of the most famous names in Arab nursing is Rufaida bint Saad Al-Aslameya, the first nurse in the Islamic and Eastern world.


Amelia Edwards: The Godmother of Egyptology
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

An extraordinarily talented woman who excelled in music, art, writing, and public speaking. English novelist, journalist, traveler, and Egyptologist, Amelia Edwards was born in London in 1831.


Dr. Fawzia Fahim's Reseach on Cancer-Killing Cobra
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

The cobra’s regal image, like that of the Pyramids and the Sun, is among the Pharaonic symbols of ancient Egypt and its constellation of mystical deities. Snakes have also long been part of the symbolism of medicine; even the escutcheon of the profession bears a serpent wrapped around the staff of Aesculapius, the Greek god of healing.

Helen Keller: The Creation of a Miracle
(The People of Science: Scientists and Inventors)

The eyes and the ears are human beings’ most valuable possessions that keep them connected to the world.

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