5 Women In Science You Need To Know About

by Olivia Harrison


Women’s History Month is coming to a close, so let’s take one last look at some amazing women that have changed the world. In 2016, women are still severely under-represented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), so it’s especially important for us to talk about our women scientist heroes from the past. Author and illustrator Rachel Ignotofsky couldn’t agree more. In her forthcoming book Women In Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed The World, she highlights the contributions of fifty notable women in STEM from ancient times to the modern world. The book is filled with striking illustrations that accompany each profiled lady scientist. You’ll also find educational infographics that explore topics like lab equipment and rates of women currently working in STEM fields. There’s also a very useful illustrated scientific glossary great for all ages.

The trailblazing women profiled include well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall (a personal childhood hero of mine), as well as lesser-known pioneers (but most-likely known to BUSTies) such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.


Women in Science celebrates the achievements of the intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and more!”

Check out a few of her amazing illustrations below and be sure to pre-order her book here.

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Hypatia – Astronomer, Mathematician, Philosopher 

Around AD 400, Hypatia was named head of the Platonist school in Alexandria, where she taught the knowledge of Plato and Aristotle to her students, who included pagans, Christians, and foreigners. She was the first woman to make a substantial contribution to the development of mathematics.

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Mary Anning – Fossil Collector and Paleontologist 

In the late 18th century, Anning became known around the world for finding Jurassic marine fossil beds in the cliffs along the English Channels. Her findings contributed to important changes in scientific thinking about prehistoric life and the history of the Earth.

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Marie Curie – Physicist and Chemist

Curie conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, AND the only person to win twice in multiple sciences. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris.

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Rosalind Franklin – Chemist and X-Ray Crystallographer

Franklin made groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite.

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Patricia Bath – Ophthalmologist and Inventor

Bath was the first woman to serve on the staff of the Jules Stein Eye Institute. She was also the first woman to head a post-graduate training program in ophthalmology. Bath was the first African-American woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose. She also founded the company of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness in Washington, D.C.

You can learn about these women and many, many more in Rachel Ignotofsky’s Women In Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed The World.

Rachel Ignotofsky is an illustrator and author based in beautiful Kansas City, MO. She grew up in New Jersey on a healthy diet of cartoons and pudding. She graduated with honors from Tyler School of Art’s graphic design program in 2011. Now Rachel works for herself and spends all day and night drawing, writing and learning as much as she can. Her work is inspired by history and science. She believes that illustration is a powerful tool that can make learning exciting. Rachel hopes to use her work to spread her message about education, gender equality and scientific literacy.

Reprinted with permission from Women in Science Copyright ©2016 by Rachel Ignotofsky. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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9 Women You Didn’t Learn About In History Class But Should Have

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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