I was challenged last year to name 31 prominent women scientists.  I responded by posting the biography of one on Facebook each day during March 2013.  This year, I will repost these bios on this blog for greater exposure.  So please circulate and spread some knowledge.  Also, I still have many more scientists that I never got around to posting and probably have forgotten some.  If you have someone you want to highlight this month, then a friendly addition anywhere in the comments is very welcome. The first nine are already posted. Enjoy.


The whole list:

3/1:   Marie Sklodowska Curie (1867-1934)
1903 Nobel Prize in Physics and 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Pioneer in radioactivity and discoverer of radium and polonium

3/2: Irène Joliot-Curie (1897-1956)
1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Synthesized new radioactive elements

3/3: Gerty Radnitz Cori (1896-1957)
1947 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Discovered the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen

3/4: Williamina Fleming (1857-1911)
Pioneering astronomer at Harvard College Observatory

3/5: Elizabeth H. Blackburn (1948-)
2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Co-discovered telomerase, the enzyme that replenishes telomeres

3/6: Carol W. Greider (1961-)
2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Co-discovered telomerase, the enzyme that replenishes telomeres

3/7: Emmy Noether (1882-1935)
Mathematician known for contributions to algebra and theoretical physics

3/8: Annie Jump Cannon (1863-1941)
Developed spectral classes for stars and observed nearly 230,000 stars

3/9: Maria Goeppert Mayer (1906-1972)
1963 Nobel Prize in Physics
Developed the Nuclear Shell Model of the atomic nucleus

3/10: Maxine Singer (1931-)
Pioneer in biochemistry and molecular biology

3/11: Lise Meitner (1878-1968)
Co-discovered nuclear fission with Otto Hahn, but only Hahn won a Nobel Prize for the discovery.

3/12: Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994)
1964 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Advanced the technique of X-ray crystallography and confirmed the structure of penicillin and the vitamin B12

3/13: Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1868-1921)
Discovered the relation between the luminosity and the period of Cepheid variable stars later used to measure the distance to galaxies

3/14:  Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)
Mathematician chiefly known for her work on Babbages’s mechanical general-purpose computer, considered the first computer programmer.

3/15: Rosalyn Sussman Yalow (1921-2011)
1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Developed the radioimmunoassay (RIA) technique that is used to measure tiny quantities of biological substances in human blood and other fluids.

3/16: Vera Rubin (1928-)
Astronomer who showed that galaxies contain at least ten times as much mass as can be accounted for by visible stars.  This observation inspired the concept of dark matter.

3/17: Barbara McClintock (1902-1992)
1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Discovered genetic transposition and developed theories to explain the suppression and expression of genetic.

3/18: Sofia Kovalevskaya (1850-1891)
Mathematician known for her work on partial differential equations, the dynamics of Saturn’s rings, elliptic integral, and rigid body motion.

3/19: Cecilia Payne-Gaposhkin (1900-1979)
Astronomer and astrophysicist who determined the composition of stars in terms of the relative abundances of hydrogen and helium.

3/20: Gertrude Elion (1918-1999)
1988 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Used differences in between normal human cells and pathogens to design drugs that could kill or inhibit the reproduction of particular pathogens.

3/21: Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958)
Known for her work on the X-ray diffraction images of DNA which led to the discovery of the double helix. Her data were used to formulate Crick and Watson’s hypothesis regarding the structure of DNA.

3/22: Rita Levi-Montalicini (1909-2012)
1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Isolated the nerve growth factor from observations of cancerous tissues that cause extremely rapid growth of nerve cells.

3/23: Sophie Germain (1776-1831)
A pioneer of elasticity theory. Also, her work on Fermat’s Last Theorem provided a foundation for mathematicians hundreds of years after.

3/24: Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (1942-)
1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Contributed to the understanding of genetic control during early embryonic development, the regulation of transcription, and cell fate during development.

3/25:  Maria Mitchell (1818-1889)
Mitchell was the first American woman to work as a professional astronomer, and discovered a comet known as “Miss Mitchell’s Comet”.

3/26: Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997)
Wu worked on the Manhattan Project and is best known for experiments that contradicted the “Law of Conservation of Parity” which confirmed the theory of Lee and Yang who were awarded a Nobel Prize for Physics.

3/27: Mary Cartwright (1900-1998)
A pioneer in the mathematical study of chaos.  Inspired by differential equations modeling radio and radar work, results from work with J. E. Littlewood are a typical instance of the “butterfly effect”.

3/28: Linda Buck (1947-)
2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Part of a collaboration that used cloned olfactory receptors to show that they belong to the family of G protein-coupled receptors.  This work opened the door to the genetic and molecular analysis of olfaction

3/29:  Jocelyn Bell Burnell (1943-)
Discovered the first radio pulsars as part of her thesis research.  Her thesis supervisor, Antony Hewish, was awarded the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics, but she was not a recipient.  Bell Burnell later served as President of both the Royal Astronomical Society and the Institute of Physics (UK).

3/30  Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (1947-)
2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Performed some of the fundamental work in the identification of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the cause of AIDS.

3/31: Ada Yonath (1939-)
2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Crystallographer who contributed to the understanding of the structure and function of ribosomes.