Top 10 greatest female scientists

10. Anita B. Roberts (April 3, 1942 – May 26, 2006):

anita roberts molecular biologist

Anita Roberts was born on April 3, 1942, in Pennsylvania and in 1968, from University of Wisconsin-Madison, she cleared her doctorate in biochemistry. She is credited for her incredible work in exploring the hidden characteristics of a protein, TGF – beta, which plays a significant role in healing wounds and bone fractures. This molecular biologist, herself, was a patient of gastric cancer and before her death in 2006, she significantly contributed in the growth of Laboratory of Cell Regulation and Carcinogenesis (LCRC) at National Cancer Institute.

9. Rosalind Elsie Franklin (25 July 1920 – 16 April 1958):

Rosalind Elsie Franklin British biophysicistAn essential pillar of modern science, Franklin is better known for her contribution in revealing the structure of DNA. Using the X-ray diffraction technique, this British biophysicist concluded that DNA molecule comprises looped double helix of atoms. She also discovered that DNA could be crystallized in two different forms – A & B.

8. Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852):

Ada Lovelace English writer

Credited for being the world’s first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace penned her research on the analytical engine, the mechanical general purpose computer of Charles Babbage. Her observations on this engine was acknowledged as the first algorithm. Buff of mathematics from an early age, Lovelace was honored by United States Department of Defense, when programming language, Ada was named after her. She has been also portrayed in a movie – Conceiving Ada.

7. Dame Jane Morris Goodall (born Valerie Jane Morris-Goodall on 3 April 1934):

British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace

A British anthropologist and UN Messenger of Peace, Jane Goodall is best known for her extensive research on the social culture of Chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park. Counted among some notable alumni of Cambridge University, Goodall now operates an organization which focuses on the environmental and wildlife conservation.

6. Gertrude Belle Elion (January 23, 1918 – February 21, 1999):

Gertrude B. Elion American biochemist and pharmacologist

Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology, this American pharmacologist and biochemist formulated a large number of new drugs that later conceptualized the AZT, an antiretroviral drug used for the treatment of AIDS. Her entire life was dedicated to the scientific advancement and by the time her name is attached to some 45 patents.

5. Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964):

Rachel Carson American marine biologist and nature writer

Born in a rustic river town of Springdale, this American marine biologist is considered as the mother of environmental movement. After earning the degree of M.A. in zoology from John Hopkins University in 1932, she joined the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries as a biologist but resigned in 1952 to dedicate her life in exploring the ecology of life.

4. Virginia Apgar (7 June 1909– 7 August 1974):

Virginia Apgar American physician who specialised in anesthesia

This renowned American physician is better known for founding the Apgar Newborn Scoring System, a method used to evaluate the health of newborn children. This radical invention has surprisingly scaled down the infant mortality across the world.

3. Trotula can refer to Trotula of Salerno (11th–12th centuries):Trotula female physician

One of the most celebrated scientist of eleventh century, Trotula wrote down several books on medicine and women’s health. It is believed that she was physician at the School of Salerno where she significantly contributed in the formation of medical knowledge’e encyclopedia.

2. Maria Goeppert-Mayer (June 28, 1906 – February 20, 1972):

Maria Goeppert-Mayer American theoretical physicist

A German born, American physicist and Nobel Prize winner in physics, Maria Mayer is a sacred name in the arena of Nuclear Physics for suggesting the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus. After completing her Ph.D. from the University of Gottingen in 1930, she started teaching here and there but continued her research on mathematical model for nuclear shells.

1. Marie Skłodowska Curie (7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934):

Marie Curie French physicist and chemist


A groundbreaker in the area of radioactivity, Marie Curie is the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, the first female professor at University of Paris and also the first person to grab Nobel Prize in two different fields. It was madam Curie who gave the theory of radioactivity and discovered two new elements, polonium and radium. She is also credited for initiating the treatment of cancer, using radioactive isotopes.