Scientific women in the history of engineering

Marie Curie

Maria Salomea Skłodowska-Curie (Warsaw, November 7, 1867-Passy, July 4, 1934), better known as Marie Curie, was a Polish scientist nationalized French. A pioneer in the field of radioactivity, he was the first person to receive two Nobel prizes in different specialties — physics and chemistry — and the first woman to take the position of professor at the University of Paris. In 1995 he was buried with honors in the pantheon of Paris on his own merits.

He was born in Warsaw, in what was then the Zarato of Poland (territory administered by the Russian Empire). He studied clandestinely at the “floating University” in Warsaw and began his scientific training in the city. In 1891, at the age of 24, he followed his older sister Bronisława Dłuska to Paris, where he completed his studies and carried out his most outstanding scientific work. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physics of 1903 with his husband Pierre Curie and the physicist Henri Becquerel. Years later, he won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry alone. Although he received French citizenship and supported his new homeland, he never lost his Polish identity: he taught his daughters his mother tongue and took them to his visits to Poland. He named the first chemical element he discovered, the Polonius, as his country of origin.

His achievements include the first studies on the phenomenon of radioactivity (term that she herself coined), techniques for the isolation of radioactive isotopes and the discovery of two elements — the Polonius and the radio —. Under his direction, the first studies were carried out in the treatment of neoplasms with radioactive isotopes. He founded the Curie Institute in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain among the main medical research centers today. During the First World War it created the first radiological centers for military use. He died in 1934 at 66 years, in the sanatorium Sancellemoz in Passy, for a aplastic anemia caused by exposure to radiation test tubes with radio that kept in the pockets at work and in the construction of mobile X-ray units of the first Guerr To world.

Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Elsie Franklin (Notting Hill, July 25, 1920-Chelsea, April 16, 1958) was an English chemist and CRISTALÓGRAFA, responsible for important contributions to understanding the DNA structure (X-ray diffraction images that revealed the form of double helix of this molecule are of his authorship), many science journalists today come to claim that she should have won the Nobel Prize for her irreplaceable involvement in discovering the structure of DNA RNA, viruses, Carbon and graphite. His work on coal and viruses was appreciated in life, while his personal contribution to DNA-related studies, which had a profound impact on the scientific advances of genetics, was not recognized in the same way as the work of James Dewey Watson, of Francis Crick and of Maurice Wilkins.

l at Norland Place in west London, at the Lindoses School for Young Ladies in Sussex, and at St Paul’s School for Girls, where she was outstanding in all sports and Matters. She was accepted at the University at the age of 18, and won a scholarship of 30 pounds a year for three years. His father asked him to donate the money to refugee students from the Second World War. He then studied natural science at Newnham College in Cambridge, where he graduated in 1941. He won a university scholarship at the University of Cambridge, in the Physicochemical laboratory, under the supervision of Ronald George Wreyford Norrish, who disappointed her for his lack of enthusiasm. Fortunately, the British Coal Research Association (BCURA) offered him a researcher’s place in 1942, and that’s how he started his work on coal. This helped her get her doctorate in 1945. He went to Paris in 1947, as researcher (post-doctoral researcher) under the supervision of Jacques Mering at the Central Laboratory of Chemical services of the state, where he became a consummate cristalógrafa of X-rays. He joined King’s College in London in 1951, but was forced to move to Birkbeck College after only two years, owing to disagreements with director John Randall and, moreover, with his colleague Maurice Wilkins. In Birkbeck, J. D. Bernal, director of the physics department, offered him a separate research team. Rosalind Franklin died of ovarian cancer at 37 years of age.

Franklin took the DNA images for X-ray diffraction during his stay at King’s College in London. These images, which suggested a helical structure and which allowed to generate inferences on key details about the DNA, were shown by Wilkins to Watson. According to Francis Crick, the research and data obtained by it were key to the determination of Watson and Crick’s model of the double helix of DNA in 1953. Watson confirmed this view through a self-assertion at the inauguration of the Franklin-Wilkins building in 2000.

His work was the third to be published in a series of three articles on DNA in the journal Nature, the first of which was Watson and Crick. Watson, Crick and Wilkins shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1962. Watson pointed out that Franklin should have also been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with Wilkins.

After completing his work in DNA, with his own team at Birkbeck College, Franklin conducted research on the molecular structures of viruses, which led to discoveries never seen before. Among the viruses he studied include the polio virus and the tobacco mosaic virus. Continuing his research, teammate and later beneficiary Aaron Klug won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1982.

Margarita Salas

Margarita Salas Falgueras, Marquesa de Nero (Nero, Asturias, Spain November 30, 1938) is a Spanish biochemistry. A graduate in chemical sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid, she was a disciple of Severo Ochoa, with whom she worked in the United States after doing it with Alberto Sols in Mda with the also scientist Eladio Viñuela, both of them were in charge of promoting the Spanish research in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology.

She is currently a related professor of “ad honorem” of the National Council of Scientific Research (CSIC), and develops her work at the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Center in Madrid (CSIC-UAM). He is also an academic of the SAR since the year 2003, and a census of the governing board since 2008. In 2016 he became the first woman to receive the Echegaray Medal, awarded by the Royal Academy of Exact, physical and natural sciences

Valentina Tereshkova

Valentina Contacts Tereshkova (Máslennikovo, March 6, 1937) Russian cosmonaut and policy already withdrawn, is a Russian engineer who as a cosmonaut became the first woman, and at the same time the first civilian, who has flown into space, having been selected between More than four hundred aspirants and five finalists to be pilot of the Vostok 6, released on June 16, 1963. He completed 48 orbits around the Earth in his three days in space. To join the body of cosmonauts, Tereshkova was incorporated in an honorary way to the Force Soviet area, being thus the first civilian to fly into space.

Prior to his recruitment as a cosmonaut, Tereshkova was a worker working in a textile factory and amateur parachutist. After the dissolution of the first group of female cosmonauts in 1969, it was a prominent member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, participating in several political offices. It remained active in politics after the collapse of the Soviet Union (USSR) and is regarded as a heroine in the post-Soviet Russia.

He has a good relationship with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin. In 2013, he offered to make a trip to Mars if they gave him the chance. At the inauguration ceremony of the Winter Olympics, he ran with the Olympic flag.

Ada Lovelace

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, (born Augusta Ada Byron in London, December 10, 1815-London, November 27, 1852), commonly known as Ada Lovelace, was a British mathematician and writer whose of Charles Babbage, the so-called analytical machine. Among his notes on the machine is what is recognized today as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine, so it is considered as the first computer programmer.

He deduced and foresaw the ability of computers to go beyond simple number calculations, while others, including Babbage itself, focused solely on these capabilities.

His father was the well-known poet George Byron.

His social position and education led her to meet important scientists such as Andrew Crosse, Sir David Brewster, Charles Wheatstone, Michael Faraday and the novelist Charles Dickens, relationships that he took to get further in his education. Among these relationships is Mary Somerville, who was her tutor for a while, as well as friend and intellectual stimulus. Ada Byron referred to herself as a poetess scientist and as an analyst (and metaphysics).

At an early age, his mathematical talent led her to a long-term friendship with English mathematician Charles Babbage, and specifically with Babbage’s work on the analytical machine. Between 1842 and 1843, it translated an article of the Italian military engineer Luigi Menabrea on the machine, which complemented with a large set of own notes, called simply notes. These notes contain what is considered the first computer program, that is, a coded algorithm for a machine to process it. Lovelace’s notes are important in the history of computer science.

Rita Levi-Montalcini

Rita Levi-Montalcini (Turin, April 22, 1909-Rome, 30 December 2012) was an Italian scientist in neurology. He discovered the first known growth factor, the nerve growth factor, whereby in 1986 he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine shared with Stanley Cohen. At the end of the Second World War he emigrated to the United States, where he worked at the Viktor Hamburger Laboratory at the University of Washington’s Institute of Zoology in San Luis.


Hipatia (Alexandria, 355 or 370 – ibid., March 415 or 416) was a philosopher and teacher Neoplatonic Greek, natural from Egypt, who stood out in the fields of mathematics and astronomy, member and head of the Neoplatonic School of Alexandria at the beginning of the 5th century. Plotinus’s follower, cultivated the logical studies and the exact sciences, leading a ascetic life. He raised a select school of Christian and Pagan aristocrats who held high positions, including the Bishop Sinesio de Cyrene — who maintained an important correspondence with her — Hesychius of Alexandria and Orestes, Prefect of Egypt at the time of his Death.

Daughter and disciple of astronomer Theon, Hipatia is the first mathematical woman to have reasonably safe and detailed knowledge. He wrote about geometry, algebra and astronomy, improved the design of the primitive astrolabes — instruments to determine the positions of the Stars on the celestial vault — and invented a hydrometer, which is why it is considered a pioneer in the history of Women in Science.

Hipatia was killed at 45 or 60 years (depending on their correct date of birth), lyncheded by a mob of Christians. The motive of the assassins and their connection or not with the ecclesiastical authority has been the subject of many debates. The assassination occurred in the framework of the Christian hostility against the declining paganism and the political struggles between the different factions of the church, the patriarchy Alejandrino and the imperial power, represented in Egypt by the prefect Orestes, former pupil of the Philosopher. Socrates Scholastic, the historian closest to the facts, affirms that the death of Hipatia was the cause of “not little reproach” for the Patriarch Cyril and the Church of Alexandria, and later sources, both Pagan and Christian, blame directly the crime, for What many historians consider Cyril’s involvement to be proven or highly probable, although the debate is still open.

Jane Goodall

Dame Jane Morris Goodall (London, April 3, 1934, under the name of Valerie Jane Morris Goodall) is a primatologist, Etóloga, anthropologist and Messenger of Peace from the English UN. He is considered the largest expert in chimpanzees, and is known for his 55-year study of the social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots and shoots program. He has worked extensively on conservation and animal welfare issues. belongs to the Human Rights Project Committee

Tu Youyou

Tu Youyou (born in Ningbó, Republic of China on December 30, 1930) is a Chinese pharmaceutical scientist, medical and chemical, known for discovering artemisinin (also known as Dihydroartemisinin), used to treat malaria, with which it saved Millions of lives. For his work, you received in 2011 the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical research, and in 2015 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Hedy Lamarr

Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, known as Hedy Lamarr (Vienna, Nov. 9, 1914-Altamonte Springs, Florida, Jan. 19, 2000) was an American naturalized Austrian film actress and inventor. It was coinventor of the first version of the widened spectrum that would allow long distance wireless communications, Wifi and Bluetooth base developed subsequently.