Women in Science

Documentary Explores Pioneering Woman Director Written Out of Film History

Alice Guy-Blaché directed more than 1,000 films including the world's first narrative film, but was expunged from the story of cinema

Stephanie Kwolek's initial ambition was not to be chemist at all.

You Can Thank Chemist Stephanie Kwolek for Bulletproof Vests and Yoga Pants

The long-serving researcher at DuPont invented kevlar and contributed to spandex

Janaki Ammal was a pioneering botanist who helped  identify and conserve the biodiversity of India.

The Pioneering Female Botanist Who Sweetened a Nation and Saved a Valley

One of India’s finest plant scientists, Janaki Ammal spurred her country to protect its rich tropical diversity

Ann Montgomery, lead crew systems engineer during the Apollo program, on the swing arm of the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center with other NASA employees, circa 1970.

At 21, Ann Montgomery Became a Lead Engineer at NASA, Managing the Cameras and Other Crucial Gear Used on the Moon

Montgomery worked closely with the Apollo astronauts to train them to use handheld tools and equipment on the moon

Irene Peden conducted groundbreaking work in Antarctica to measure the propagation of radio waves through the ice sheets, revealing properties of the ice below.

Trailblazing Engineer Irene Peden Broke Antarctic Barriers for Women

Originally told she could not go to Antarctica without another woman to accompany her, Peden now has a line of cliffs on the continent named in her honor

Julie Packard (detail) by Hope Gangloff

Fishes Were Julie Packard’s Wishes for Her New Smithsonian Portrait

National Portrait Gallery unveils a painting honoring the renowned ocean conservationist and director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Shortly after the first human space flight, the Soviet Union began planning to send a woman to space.

The First Group of Female Cosmonauts Were Trained to Conquer the Final Frontier

Two decades before the first American woman flew to space, a group of female cosmonauts trained in Star City of the Soviet Union 

Margaret Dayhoff was a pioneer of using computers to tackle some of the biggest scientific questions of the day.

How Margaret Dayhoff Brought Modern Computing to Biology

The pioneer of bioinformatics modeled Earth’s primordial atmosphere with Carl Sagan and made a vast protein database still used today

For the first time, two female astronauts will conduct routine tests outside the International Space Station later this month while a team of women at NASA direct the work from the ground. Left: Christina Hammock Koch; Right: Anne McClain

NASA Cancels First All-Female Spacewalk Due to Spacesuit Size Issues

NASA didn’t have two properly fitting and space-ready suits for both women

Roxie Laybourne's work changed the role of museums in public life by turning the Smithsonian’s collection of thousands of birds into an applied science tool.

Meet Roxie Laybourne, the Feather Detective Who Changed Aviation

A new Sidedoor episode tells the story of Roxy Laybourne, a Smithsonian scientist who pioneered the field of forensic ornithology

Uhlenbeck's work on minimal surfaces was instrumental to the foundation of the mathematical field of geometric analysis

Karen Uhlenbeck Is the First Woman to Win Math’s Top Prize

The Abel Prize honoree was recognized for "the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics"

Margaret Hamilton stands next to a stack of program listings from the Apollo Guidance Computer in a photograph taken in 1969.

Margaret Hamilton Led the NASA Software Team That Landed Astronauts on the Moon

Apollo’s successful computing software was optimized to deal with unknown problems and to interrupt one task to take on a more important one


Get to Know the Leading Ladies of Science at the Smithsonian

These women paved the way for female scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

Women in Science Receive Less Grant Money Than Their Male Peers

Researchers found that on average, first-time male lead investigators were awarded $41,000 more than their female counterparts

Computer technician Joyce Cade works on a UNIVAC computer at a United States Census Bureau installation in Maryland which was used to tabulate the results of the 1954 Census of Business.

Women's Contributions to Early Genetics Studies Were Relegated to the Footnotes

While women scientists were frequently "acknowledged programmers" in population genetics research, few of them received full authorship

Women make up less than 19 percent of Wikipedia's biographies.

One Tool in the Fight Against Wikipedia's Notorious Gender Bias

Can an obscure 19th-century literary form help solve a 21st-century problem?

Three years after the first oral contraceptive was approved by the FDA, Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation created the first "memory aid" packaging, which featured a circular calendar in the middle.

These Objects Begin to Tell the Story of Women's History in America

Thirteen artifacts from the National Museum of American History chronicle profound changes in the life of the nation

A sculpture of Louise Arner Boyd alongside the subject herself. This bust is part of the Marin History Museum collection in Novata, California.

The Double Life of a California Socialite Who Became a Leading Arctic Explorer

In the early 20th century, Louise Arner Boyd lived as a philanthropist in the United States and a hero on the high seas

An artist's rendering of the European Space Agency's Mars rover, scheduled for launch in 2020 and recently named after  English chemist and X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin.

Europe's 2020 Mars Rover Named for DNA Pioneer Rosalind Franklin

The U.K.-built vehicle is due to launch to the Red Planet next year

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has severed all ties with Watson

DNA Pioneer James Watson Loses Honorary Titles Over Racist Comments

The renowned scientist has a long history of controversial commentary on not only race, but issues spanning gender, religion and sexuality

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