The Science History Institute is proud to celebrate the many contributions of women in science all year long, but especially during Women’s History Month, which is held each March to commemorate and reflect on the often-overlooked impact women have had on American history.
Science History Institute
Through our digital collections, programs and events, historical biographies, Distillations content, and other initiatives, we will continue to share the stories of women in science.
Sadly but perhaps not surprisingly, some of these stories include female scientists whose work has been obscured or even forgotten. A good example is this photo. Until May 2020 only Dr. Michael Somogyi (1883–1971) was identified by name; the five women he’s pictured with were labeled simply as “female laboratory assistants.” But thanks to a social media crowdsourcing campaign launched during Women’s History Month in 2020, one of the unknown women has since been identified as Irene Karl (1915–2006), a renowned biochemist who was a pioneer in metabolic disorders.
Check out more women in science-related items from our digital collections, including images of female scientists, lab technicians, and other scientific workers, as well as an array of materials related to women’s health. And some really cool stamps.
A pioneer in nanotechnology, Hammond is the head of the MIT Department of Chemical Engineering, cofounder of MIT’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology, and a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.
A two-time Nobel laureate, Marie Curie is best known for her pioneering studies of radioactivity.
A pioneer of the technique of nuclear magnetic resonance, or NMR, Cohn transformed the study of enzymes by aiming high-tech instruments at them.
Born in Taiwan, Chang made the long trip to the United States to study at Brown University and then Harvard. She became one of the world’s most successful biotechnology entrepreneurs.
Conversations on Chemistry, written in 1806 by Marcet, was intended for girls, but it also introduced chemistry to boys like Michael Faraday, whose formal education was very limited.
In the mid-1980s Solomon led expeditions to Antarctica to gather evidence that CFCs were destroying the ozone layer.
A chemist and leading environmental consultant, Berkowitz tackled everything from preventing water pollution to the best ways to treat industrial wastes.
DNA’s electrical conductivity is at the heart of studies Barton is undertaking to find new methods for medical diagnosis and treatment.
In 1947 Daly became the first African American woman to receive a doctorate in chemistry in the United States.
From positions in academia, industry, and the corridors of political decision making in Washington, D.C., Good championed science and technology.
In 1887 Richards conducted an unprecedented survey that led to the first state water-quality standards in the nation and the first modern municipal sewage treatment plant.
Polymer science and technology are just two of the areas to which Chowdhry, retired chief science and technology officer at the DuPont Company, contributed.
During the early stages of industrial development in the United States, Hamilton identified many workplace hazards and worked to improve the health of inner-city poor. She was also the first woman professor ever appointed at Harvard University.
In 1978 Mazumdar-Shaw started Biocon India in her garage and then built it into the multinational biotech firm it is today.
Dame Carol Robinson, the Dr. Lee’s Professor of Chemistry at Oxford, received the Institute’s preeminent award in May 2021.
Distillations talks to the biochemist about the discovery of CRISPR-Cas9, the tool’s promise, and dangers of its misuse.
This TV show and companion film series celebrates eight extraordinary women in science.
For centuries women have been looking at the stars despite earthly obstacles.
In the 1920s a pioneering journalist summoned the might of American women to revive a Nobelist’s career.
Distillations talks to the 2019 Othmer Gold Medal winner about her work using nanotechnology to detect and treat disease.