“A quick web search for the world’s most famous scientists lists, among others, Galileo, Einstein, Newton, Darwin, Stephen Hawking and Alexander Fleming.
One of the few women to receive a mention is Marie Curie, a physicist and chemist who basically discovered radiation and helped apply it in the field of X-rays.
She won two Nobel Prizes, in physics and chemistry. Yet even so, she was turned down for membership of the prestigious French Academie des Sciences in 1911, the very year she went on to win her second Nobel Prize.
The Nobel laureate Sir Tim Hunt was heavily criticised for his disparaging remarks about women in science last week, which for some raised the issue of where women stood in the scientific community.
The larger truth is that women have made big and important discoveries in science – think of Dorothy Hodgkin, the brilliant crystallographer who mapped the structure of penicillin and went on to be awarded a Nobel Prize in 1964.
Hodgkin was the first woman to win the prestigious Copley Medal, and she remains the only British woman to have won a Nobel in the sciences. Yet at the time, the newspapers carried headlines such as “Oxford housewife wins Nobel”.
But many female scientists in the past were not given the credit they deserved for their achievements. As a result, their names have all but disappeared from public consciousness.
Here are just a few……”
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