Marie Curie and Pierre Curie’s daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie, herself a brilliant scientist, won the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with her husband, Joliot-Curie, for discovering artificial radioactivity. She was also one of the first three female French government members. She tragically died of leukemia caused by exposure to radiation.
French mathematician Sophie Germain had used the pseudonym M. Le Blanc to get hold of notes from the École Polytechnique, as being a woman, she was not allowed to attend the institute. She later contributed to the number theory and also pioneered the elasticity theory. She died of breast cancer.
French nuclear-physicist Hélène Langevin-Joliot comes from the distinguished Curie family, which includes five Nobel Laureates, including her maternal-grandparents Marie and Pierre Curie, her parents Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie, and her maternal uncle-in-law Henry Labouisse. Hélène serves as a director of research at CNRS and as professor of nuclear physics at the Institute of Nuclear Physics at the University of Paris.
Françoise Barré-Sinoussi is a French virologist best known for her work that identified the human immunodeficiency virus as the cause of AIDS. Barré-Sinoussi's groundbreaking work earned her the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008. An important virologist, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi has also received many other awards, including the Sovac Prize and the Körber European Science Prize.
At 13, Marie-Anne Paulze Lavoisier had married lawyer and chemist Antoine Lavoisier. Her mastery of English helped her assist her husband communicate with his collaborators. She also illustrated her husband’s books and eventually negotiated with Joseph Priestley, on his behalf, over the naming of oxygen, which Priestley had discovered.
Brigitte Boisselier leads Clonaid, a company focused on human cloning research. She is also a leader of the quasi-religious Raëlism movement, which believes humans were created by aliens. Although she once announced that Clonaid had successfully cloned a human child, the legal questions surrounding it later silenced her.
Jeanne Villepreux-Power was a French marine biologist. She is credited with creating aquaria in 1832 in order to experiment with aquatic organisms. Nicknamed the Mother of Aquariophily, Villepreux-Power also invented the systematic application of the aquarium in order to study marine life. Jeanne Villepreux-Power was also a well-known author, conservationist, and dressmaker.