5 Remarkable Women Scientists That History Should Never Forget

Although we live in an increasingly more open world where women have increased access to education in science, tech, engineering, and math, that wasn’t always the case in the past. And, given that there are still fewer than 30% of women scientists of all tech and engineering jobs, there is still a long way to go.

Women Scientists in the Past

Throughout history, science has been predominantly dominated by men. Women had to overcome high barriers and obstacles if they wanted access to education and training. Still, many persisted despite the fact they rarely got recognition for their work, or it was outright stolen from them. Here are 5 remarkable women scientists that history has tried to forget.

Mileva Maric

Mileva Maric with her husband, Albert Einstein
5 Remarkable Women Scientists That History Should Never Forget

Primarily known as Albert Einstein’s first wife, Maric’s contribution to science has been widely shadowed and overlooked by her brilliant husband’s groundbreaking discoveries. Although no one has ever credited her with any contribution to Einstein’s novel theories, their letters and testimonies beg to differ. He always talks about “our theory” and “our studies,” which point to a collaboration between the two. Their correspondence depicts them as a couple bonded by a shared passion for science, music, and physics.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Jocelyn Bell Burnell
5 Remarkable Women Scientists That History Should Never Forget

You’ve probably never come across the name of British astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell, but if it wasn’t for her 1967 discovery of pulsars, astronomy never would have been what it is today. Pulsars are whirling stellar corpses that scientists today use to navigate the cosmic ocean, detect gravitational waves, and test some of the fundamental theories of physics. If it weren’t for Jocelyn’s discovery during her graduate year at the University of Cambridge, we would still be in the dark for many advancements that followed. She got recognition for her work after a whopping 51 years after she made her groundbreaking discovery!

Lise Meitner

Lise Meitner
5 Remarkable Women Scientists That History Should Never Forget

Praised by Einstein as the “German Marie Curie,” Lise Meitner was a Jewish Austrian physicist who discovered the element protactinium in 1917, as well as nuclear fission in 1938 alongside her nephew after they fled to Sweden from Nazi Germany. Although she refused to work on the Manhattan Project, she’s still often credited as “the mother of the atomic bomb.” She was widely rejected by male scientists at the time. In fact, her scientific partner Otto Hahn was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1945 for proving the theory of nuclear fission with no credit to Lise’s work and contribution whatsoever.

Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin
5 Remarkable Women Scientists That History Should Never Forget

Rosalind Franklin was the daughter of English socialites who made sure she was given every educational opportunity. Despite facing resistance from her colleagues, peers, employers, and even her own dad, she persisted in her studies and later research on DNA. Along with her lab partner Maurice Wilkins and through radiology, the pair was able to take some of the first clear images of DNA structures in the 1950s. Wilkins later stole their research and posed it as his own. It wasn’t until after Franklin’s untimely death that he admitted her contribution to this major discovery.

Justine Siegemund

Justine Siegemund
5 Remarkable Women Scientists That History Should Never Forget

It’s safe to say that midwifery is as old as human history itself. However, it wasn’t until the mid-1600s when Justine Siegemund, a German woman who devoted her life to studying the science of childbirth, wrote the first written guide on the matter. Justine is considered a pioneer in developing labor techniques that saved many lives and paved the way for modern advancements.