Women Scientists

Throughout history, there have been many women scientists who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great female scientists such as Marie Curie, Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Rosalind Franklin, Lise Meitner.The women scientists featured in this list are from United States, United Kingdom, Canada & Australia and many more countries.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Marie Curie

Marie Curie.
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: November 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: July 4, 1934
Amongst the most notable scientists of her time, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the sole person to win two Nobel Prize in two different category, and the first woman professor at the University of Paris—Marie Curie’s list of achievements is incredible. She did extensive research in the field of radioactivity and discovered polonium and radium.

 2 Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin.
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: July 25, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Notting Hill, London, England
Died: April 16, 1958
Chemist and X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin is remembered for her pathbreaking X-ray diffraction studies of DNA, which helped in the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the double helix structure of DNA by Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins later. She also worked on the molecular structures of viruses. 

 3 Hypatia

Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher, Astronomer, Writer
Birthdate: 0360 AD
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: 0415 AD
Hypatia was a Hellenistic Neoplatonist philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer who lived during the 4th and 5th centuries. She also taught and served as a counselor. She is remembered for her commentary on Diophantus's Arithmetica. She was later murdered and became a symbol of feminism and of opposition to Catholic ideals.

 4 Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson.
Famous As: Marine biologist
Birthdate: May 27, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Springdale
Died: April 14, 1964

 5 Emmy Noether

Emmy Noether.
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: March 23, 1882
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany
Died: April 14, 1935

Emmy Noether was a German mathematician best remembered for her contributions to abstract algebra. She is credited with discovering Noether's theorem, which is regarded as a fundamental theorem in mathematical physics. One of the most important mathematicians of her generation and the most important woman in mathematics history, Emmy Noether developed theories of algebras, fields, and rings.

 6 Caroline Herschel

Caroline Herschel.
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: March 16, 1750
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: January 9, 1848

Caroline Herschel was a German astronomer who is credited with the discovery of many comets, such as 35P/Herschel-Rigollet, which is named in her honor. In 1828, Herschel became the first woman to be honored with a Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society. She was also the first female scientist to receive a salary.

 7 Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson.
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: August 26, 1918
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, United States
Died: February 24, 2020
Katherine Johnson was a physicist and mathematician, remembered as the first African-American female NASA scientist. Her calculations helped launch the space missions of Alan Shepard and John Glenn. She was crucial to the Apollo program and won a Congressional Gold Medal and a Presidential Medal of Freedom for her achievements.
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 8 Vera Rubin

Vera Rubin
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: July 23, 1928
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died: December 25, 2016

 9 Dorothy Hodgkin

Dorothy Hodgkin.
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: May 12, 1910
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cairo
Died: July 29, 1994

Dorothy Hodgkin received the 1964 Nobel Prize for mapping the structure of penicillin and Vitamin B12. She is also known for her work on insulin. Beginning her work on structure of an organic compound by using X-ray crystallography as an undergraduate student, she later developed it further and used it to determine the three-dimensional structure of complex organic molecules.

 10 Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin
Famous As: Astronomer, University teacher
Birthdate: May 10, 1900
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Buckinghamshire
Died: December 7, 1979

After losing her father at 4, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin was raised singlehandedly by her mother. The incredibly talented Cecilia studied at Cambridge but failed to secure a degree because of her gender. She later joined Harvard and opposing prevalent beliefs, proposed that stars were mainly made of hydrogen and helium. 

 11 Shakuntala Devi

Shakuntala Devi.
Famous As: Human Computer
Birthdate: November 4, 1929
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bangalore
Died: April 21, 2013

A child prodigy who was never formally educated, Shakuntala Devi became a mathematical genius earning the title of Human Computer for her exceptional calculating abilities. The Indian genius was also an astrologer and a gifted writer who authored books on maths, astrology, homosexuality in India and a crime thriller novel.

 12 Mileva Marić

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: December 19, 1875
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Titel
Died: August 4, 1948
Serbian physicist/mathematician Mileva Marić was the first wife of Albert Einstein and the second lady to complete the full program at the mathematics and physics department of Zürich Polytechnic. Experts still debate over whether she had helped Einstein in his initial research. Einstein transferred his Nobel Prize money to her.

 13 Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 12, 1975
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States

 14 Mary Jackson

Mary Jackson
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: April 9, 1921
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hampton, Virginia, United States
Died: February 11, 2005

American mathematician and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson went down in history as the first African-American woman to work as a NASA engineer. Initially a math teacher, she later joined NACA under Dorothy Vaughan and contributed to countless American space programs at a time when racial segregation was the norm.

 15 Dian Fossey

Dian Fossey.
Famous As: Zoologist, Conservationist
Birthdate: January 16, 1932
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: December 26, 1985
Zoologist, primatologist, and conservationist Dian Fossey conducted research on mountain gorillas in Rwanda from 1966 until she was murdered in 1985. She was part of the Trimates assigned to study apes by paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey. She wrote Gorillas in the Mist, which was later turned into a film.

 16 Dorothy Vaughan

Dorothy Vaughan
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: September 20, 1910
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Died: November 10, 2008

American mathematician Dorothy Vaughan was also known as a "human computer." Initially a math teacher, she became the first African-American supervisor of NACA, later part of NASA, at a time when racial segregation was rampant in the U.S. Her contribution to the early American space programs is invaluable.

 17 Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori.
Famous As: Physician and Educator
Birthdate: August 31, 1870
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chiaravalle (Ancona), Italy
Died: May 6, 1952

Maria Montessori was an Italian educator and physician best known for developing the Montessori method of education, a student-friendly method, which is being used in several public and private schools around the world. In 2020, she was nominated by Time magazine as one of their Top 100 Women of the year.

 18 Juliane Koepcke

Juliane Koepcke.
Famous As: Lone Survivor of 1971 LANSA Plane Crash
Birthdate: October 10, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lima, Peru
Juliane Koepcke is a German Peruvian mammalogist. She is well-known for being the only survivor of the Líneas Aéreas Nacionales S.A. Flight 508 plane crash; she survived ten days in the Amazon rainforest after surviving a fall of 9843 feet while strapped to her airplane seat. Her story inspired films like Miracles Still Happen (1974) and Wings of Hope (1998).

 19 Alicia Nash

Alicia Nash
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: January 1, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San Salvador, El Salvador
Died: May 23, 2015

Born in El Salvador, Alicia Nash later moved to the U.S., where she became one of the first women to join MIT as a student. The physicist met her husband, renowned mathematician John Nash at MIT. Both Alicia and John were killed in car crash while returning home from Norway.

 20 Deborah Birx

Deborah Birx
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: April 4, 1956
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Carlisle, Pennsylvania, United States

Doctor and diplomat Deborah Birx was the Trump administration’s coronavirus response co-ordinator. The renowned HIV/AIDS researcher, however, quit the virus team after reports suggested she had attended a Thanksgiving family gathering, breaching COVID-19 protocol. She later joined the air-cleaning company ActivePure, amid reports of it using banned technology.

 21 Annie Jump Cannon

Annie Jump Cannon.
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: December 11, 1863
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dover
Died: April 13, 1941

After studying physics and astronomy at Wellesley College, Annie Jump Cannon traveled across Europe and focused on photography for a decade, before venturing to study astronomy again. At the Harvard Observatory, she made a considerable contribution to the classification of stellar bodies. She was almost deaf due to scarlet fever.

 22 Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace.
Famous As: Countess of Lovelace
Birthdate: December 10, 1815
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London
Died: November 27, 1852

Ada Lovelace was a mathematician known for her work on the Analytical Engine, a mechanical general-purpose computer proposed by Charles Babbage. Many believe that Lovelace was the first to recognize the potential of computers. It is also believed that she published the first algorithm after realizing that the algorithm could be carried out by a machine like the Analytical Engine.

 23 Maryam Mirzakhani

Maryam Mirzakhani
Famous As: mathematician, topologist, university teacher
Birthdate: May 3, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tehran

 24 Jennifer Doudna

Jennifer Doudna
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: February 19, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

 25 Grace Hopper

Grace Hopper.
Famous As: Computer Scientist
Birthdate: December 9, 1906
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City
Died: January 1, 1992
Computer scientist and U.S. Navy rear admiral Grace Hopper was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computing system. She pioneered the machine-independent programming language technique, and the FLOW-MATIC language used by her was later used to create COBOL. She received a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 26 Lise Meitner

Lise Meitner.
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: November 7, 1878
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: October 27, 1968

Lise Meitner was an Austrian-Swedish physicist best remembered for her contributions that led to the discoveries of nuclear fission and the element protactinium. Nicknamed the German Marie Curie by Albert Einstein, Lise Meitner became the second woman in the world to receive a doctorate in physics in 1905. In 1997, chemical element 109 meitnerium was named in her honor.

 27 Eva Ekeblad

Eva Ekeblad
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: July 10, 1724
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: May 15, 1786

 28 Donna Strickland

Donna Strickland
Famous As: Optical physicist
Birthdate: May 27, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Guelph, Canada

Donna Strickland is a Canadian optical physicist who is considered a pioneer in the field of pulsed lasers. In recognition of her research on the practical implementation of chirped pulse amplification, she was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018, together with Gérard Mourou. She is currently a professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. 

 29 Barbara Liskov

Barbara Liskov
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: November 7, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

 30 Nettie Stevens

Nettie Stevens
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: July 7, 1861
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cavendish, Vermont, United States
Died: May 4, 1912

 31 Tu Youyou

Tu Youyou
Famous As: chemist, pharmacologist, inventor, university teacher
Birthdate: December 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ningbo

Chinese phytochemist and malariologist Tu Youyou is best remembered for her Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the anti-malarial drug qinghaosu, or artemisinin. She is the first Chinese female Nobel laureate. A tuberculosis infection in her younger days had inspired her to step into medicine. She later studied traditional Chinese medicine, too.

 32 Aafia Siddiqui

Aafia Siddiqui
Famous As: Neuroscientist
Birthdate: March 2, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Karachi

 33 Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Famous As: Astronomer, Astrophysicist
Birthdate: July 15, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Belfast

Jocelyn Bell Burnell is an astrophysicist from Northern Ireland. As a postgraduate student, she discovered the first radio pulsars. She graduated from the University of Glasgow and pursued an academic career. In 2018, she received the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for her discovery of radio pulsars. She donated the three million dollars she received as prize money.  

 34 Frances Oldham Kelsey

Frances Oldham Kelsey
Famous As: Pharmacologist
Birthdate: July 24, 1914
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cobble Hill, Canada
Died: August 7, 2015

As part of the FDA, Frances Oldham Kelsey prevented thalidomide from being allowed in the US drug market as a painkiller, as she was unsure of its impact. Her concerns were proved right when the drug caused birth defects in European children. She was subsequently awarded by the US president.

 35 Rita Levi-Montalcini

Rita Levi-Montalcini.
Famous As: Neurologist
Birthdate: April 22, 1909
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: December 30, 2012

Rita Levi-Montalcini was an Italian neurologist whose discovery of nerve growth factor earned her the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Throughout her life, Levi-Montalcini's work in neurobiology earned her several other honors and awards, including the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement and the European Academy of Sciences' Leonardo da Vinci Award.

 36 Timnit Gebru

Timnit Gebru
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Ethiopia

 37 Lynn Margulis

Lynn Margulis.
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: March 5, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: November 22, 2011

 38 Sophie Germain

Sophie Germain.
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: April 1, 1776
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris
Died: June 27, 1831

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.

 39 Marie Stopes

Marie Stopes.
Famous As: Paleobotanist & Women’s Rights Activists
Birthdate: October 15, 1880
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: October 2, 1958

 40 Shafi Goldwasser

Shafi Goldwasser
Famous As: university teacher, cryptographer, mathematician, computer scientist
Birthdate: 1958 AD
Birthplace: New York City

 41 Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
Famous As: Business woman
Birthdate: March 23, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bangalore, Mysore State, India

Biocon founder and chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is a self-made billionaire entrepreneur who made it to Forbes’s Power Women 2020 list. Though she initially wished to be a brewer like her father, she later drifted to the biochemical industry. Apart from revolutionizing the Indian biopharma market, she also heads a charitable organization.

 42 Helen Sharman

Helen Sharman
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: May 30, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sheffield,England

The first British person to fly into space, Helen Sharman also became the first female astronaut to visit the Mir space station. She was selected from over 13,000 applicants to be part of the Project Juno program. She was also as a chemist for the chocolate manufacturer Mars.

 43 Sudha Murty

Sudha Murty
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: August 19, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Shiggaon, Haveri, Karnataka, India

Known for her humility and simplicity, Indian philanthropist and author Sudha Murty had humble beginnings as a TELCO engineer. She is married to Infosys co-founder Narayan Murty and heads the Infosys Foundation. The Padma Shri winner has penned over 200 titles, such as Dollar Bahu, in both Kannada and English.

 44 Kathleen Rubins

Kathleen Rubins
Famous As: Astronaut, Biologist
Birthdate: October 14, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Farmington

 45 Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville
Famous As: Mathematician, Linguist, Translator, Astronomer, Scientist
Birthdate: December 26, 1780
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Jedburgh
Died: November 28, 1872

One of the two pioneering female honorary members of the Royal Astronomical Society, Mary Somerville was a 19th-century polymath and science writer. Though she specialized in math and astronomy, she was also well-versed in botany and geology. The Connection of the Physical Sciences remains her most notable work.

 46 Emmanuelle Charpentier

Emmanuelle Charpentier
Famous As: Researcher
Birthdate: December 11, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Juvisy-sur-Orge, France

 47 Émilie du Châtelet

Émilie du Châtelet
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: December 17, 1706
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 10, 1749

 48 Stephanie Kwolek

Stephanie Kwolek.
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: July 31, 1923
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New Kensington
Died: June 18, 2014

 49 Lisa Randall

Lisa Randall
Famous As: Physicist, Writer, University teacher, Theoretical physicist
Birthdate: June 18, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Queens

Apart from teaching at Harvard, theoretical physicist Lisa Randall has also held professorships at MIT and Princeton. She has also written several popular books, such as Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven’s Door. One of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2007, she has also written a libretto for an opera.

 50 Elizabeth Blackburn

Elizabeth Blackburn.
Famous As: American-Australian researcher
Birthdate: November 26, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Nobel Prize-winning Australian-American biochemist and molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn is best known for co-discovering the enzyme telomerase. She was allegedly removed from the American President's Council on Bioethics over her support for stem cell research, which went against the government. She has honorary doctorate degrees from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.