Women in Science

Before the 1840s, women had no choice but to deliver children without anesthetic.

It Didn’t Take Very Long For Anesthesia to Change Childbirth

The unprecedented idea of a painless delivery changed women's lives

Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer stands with the taxidermied remains of her groundbreaking discovery.

In the 1930s, This Natural History Curator Discovered a Living Fossil–Well, Sort of

Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer was convinced she'd found something special in a pile of fish, but it took some time for her discovery to be recognized

Kono Yasui at Tokyo University.

How a Pioneering Botanist Broke Down Japan’s Gender Barriers

Kono Yasui was the first Japanese woman to publish in an academic journal, forging a new path for women in her country

Maria Telkes, known as the "Sun Queen" for her focus on solar energy.

This 1940s Solar House Powered Innovation and Women in STEM

As far back as the 1940s, people were worried about running out of fuel. The sun seemed like a feasible alternative

Janelle Shane's neural network needs a lot of first lines before it can teach itself to write good ones.

This Neural Network Can (Maybe) Start a Novel Better Than You

As the end of NaNoWriMo draws near, take a look at one researcher's effort to help find that perfect first line

A 1939 photo of German Jewish refugees aboard the German liner Saint Louis.

The Forgotten Women Scientists Who Fled the Holocaust for the United States

A new project from Northeastern University traces the journeys of 80 women who attempted to escape Europe and find new lives in America during World War II

In her second book, The Sexes Throughout Nature, Blackwell argued that while male lions are physically larger and stronger, female lions were “more complex in structure and in functions” through their ability to reproduce and feed their young.

The Woman Who Challenged Darwin's Sexism

How a preacher with no scientific training ended up writing the first feminist critique of <em>Origins</em>

Harriot Hunt was accepted into Harvard Medical school and treated hundreds of patients over her 25-year-career, blazing a trail for future generations of female physicians.

The Medical Practitioner Who Paved the Way for Women Doctors in America

Harriot Hunt refused to let her gender limit her ambitions—or those of the next generation of physicians

Marie and Pierre Curie in the laboratory.

Three Quirky Facts About Marie Curie

In honor of her 150th birthday, let's review a few lesser-known pieces of her personal history

In July 1955, black children wait to register for school in Lawrence County, Arkansas, as schools desegregate in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education.

How a Psychologist’s Work on Race Identity Helped Overturn School Segregation in 1950s America

Mamie Phipps Clark came up with the oft-cited "doll test" and provided expert testimony in Brown v. Board of Education

Reaching the summit of the Matterhorn made Annie Smith Peck well-known.

Three Things to Know About Pants-Wearing Mountaineer Annie Smith Peck

Peck wasn’t wealthy and her family, who did have money, didn’t approve of her globe-trotting, mountain-climbing, pants-wearing lifestyle

Jemison aboard the space shuttle 'Endeavour' in the Spacelab Japan science module.

This Groundbreaking Astronaut and Star Trek Fan Is Now Working on Interstellar Travel

Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, wants us to look beyond Earth

The British Navy was a big deal in the 1700s.

Jane Squire and the Longitude Wars

The sixteenth-century debate over how to determine longitude had a lot of participants—and one woman

Thousands of women tirelessly worked in close quarters throughout the war breaking codes for the Army and Navy. Vowed to secrecy, they have long gone unrecognized for their wartime achievements.

How the American Women Codebreakers of WWII Helped Win the War

A new book documents the triumphs and challenges of more than 10,000 women who worked behind the scenes of wartime intelligence

NASA Dedicates New Facility to Katherine Johnson, the Pioneering Mathematician of ‘Hidden Figures’

'I think they're crazy,' the 99-year-old jokingly said of the honor

The ice cream cone came to the attention of American audiences at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.

The Amazing, Portable, Edible Ice Cream Cone

Unlike foods that came before it, ice cream in a cone could be eaten on the go–without a spoon

A man named Georgios Papanicolaou invented the Pap smear, but Elizabeth Stern helped figure out how to interpret it.

Why The Pap Test Could Also Be Called the Stern Test

Elizabeth Stern played a vital role in cervical cancer testing and treatment

A typical day for three musicians in the Medici Court. This portrait, of three unnamed musicians, was painted circa 1687.

Three Things to Know About Francesca Caccini, the Renaissance Musical Genius You’ve Never Heard Of

The first female opera composer, Caccini worked for the super-rich-and-powerful Medici family

Sunita Narain has been working for climate justice with the New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment since 1982.

How an Environmental Activist Became a Pioneer for Climate Justice in India

Reducing India’s emissions will take more than science—it will take a new paradigm of de-colonialism, says Sunita Narain

Emma Nutt was just the leading edge of the wave.

Long Before Siri, Emma Nutt's Voice Was on the Other End of the Line

She was the first female telephone operator. Before her, telephone operators were teenaged boys. That didn't go so well

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